A 38-Kilobase Pathogenicity Island Specific for Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis Encodes Cell Surface Proteins Expressed in the Host

Janin Stratmann, Birgit Strommenger, Ralph Goethe, Karen Dohmann, Gerald F. Gerlach, Karen Stevenson, Ling Ling Li, Qing Zhang, Vivek Kapur, Tim J. Bull

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We have used representational difference analysis to identify a novel Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis-specific ABC transporter operon (mpt), which comprises six open reading frames designated mptA to -F and is immediately preceded by two putative Fur boxes. Functional genomics revealed that the mpt operon is flanked on one end by afep cluster encoding proteins involved in the uptake of Fe3+ and on the other end by a sid cluster encoding non-ribosome-dependent heterocyclic siderophore synthases. Together these genes form a 38-kb M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis-specific locus flanked by an insertion sequence similar to IS1110. Expression studies using Western blot analyses showed that MptC is present in the envelope fraction of M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis. The MptD protein was shown to be surface exposed, using a specific phage (fMptD) isolated from a phage-peptide library, by differential screening of Mycobacterium smegmatis transformants. The phage fMptD-derived peptide could be used in a peptide-mediated capture PCR with milk from infected dairy herds, thereby showing surface-exposed expression of the MptD protein in the host. Together, these data suggest that the 38-kb locus constitutes an M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis pathogenicity island.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1265-1274
Number of pages10
JournalInfection and Immunity
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2004


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases

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