1887

Abstract

C protein antigen (Bac), a surface protein of group B streptococci (GBS), is known to concurrently bind the Fc portion of IgA and factor H (FH). The authors' previous work has demonstrated that mRNA expression levels show diversity among clonally related strains containing genes () encoding Bac, with high expression noted in invasive strains. In this study, the gene and upstream regions containing putative promoters, three ORFs and an IS insertion sequence were characterized. Three invasive strains showed high expression levels and did not show any notable mutations except one strain producing Bac that was able to bind FH but not IgA. A deletion of 51 amino acid residues, including part of the Bac IgA-binding region, was identified and hypothesized to contribute to the loss of the IgA-binding ability of this strain. A vaginal strain that showed somewhat higher expression levels and produced Bac lacking immunoreactivity contained an 11 bp deletion, which generated a premature termination codon, in the region preceding the IgA-binding region. In another vaginal strain that did not express , disruption of the upstream ORFs of the sensor histidine kinase and DNA-binding response regulator, due to frameshift mutations, was noted although it is not known whether these proteins directly affect expression levels. An IS insertion into the promoter region was found in another vaginal strain that showed low expression levels and produced Bac with a significantly larger proline-rich repeat region. These results demonstrate considerable genetic diversity of the and upstream regions of invasive and noninvasive GBS, which may contribute to the variability of expression levels among those strains.

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2006-03-01
2019-11-15
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vol. , part 3, pp. 771 - 778

Amino acid sequence alignment of Bac. The predicted amino acid sequences from strains 22 and 5 were aligned with published amino acid sequences (GenBank accession nos X59771 and X58470) using CLUSTALW. The region shaded in grey indicates the 51 amino acid deletion found in strain 22. The 73-residue IgA-binding region is boxed. Mutated residues are indicated by asterisks. [ PDF] (55 kb)



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