Characterization and expression analysis of Staphylococcus aureus pathogenicity island 3. Implications for the evolution of staphylococcal pathogenicity islands

Jeremy M. Yarwood, John K. McCormick, Michael L. Paustian, Paul M. Orwin, Vivek Kapur, Patrick M. Schlievert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

111 Scopus citations


We describe the complete sequence of the 15.9-kb staphylococcal pathogenicity island 3 encoding staphylococcal enterotoxin serotypes B, K, and Q. The island, which meets the generally accepted definition of pathogenicity islands, contains 24 open reading frames potentially encoding proteins of more than 50 amino acids, including an apparently functional integrase. The element is bordered by two 17-bp direct repeats identical to those found flanking staphylococcal pathogenicity island 1. The island has extensive regions of homology to previously described pathogenicity islands, particularly staphylococcal pathogenicity islands 1 and bov. The expression of 22 of the 24 open reading frames contained on staphylococcal pathogenicity island 3 was detected either in vitro during growth in a laboratory medium or serum or in vivo in a rabbit model of toxic shock syndrome using DNA microarrays. The effect of oxygen tension on staphylococcal pathogenicity island 3 gene expression was also examined. By comparison with the known staphylococcal pathogenicity islands in the context of gene expression described here, we propose a model of pathogenicity island origin and evolution involving specialized transduction events and addition, deletion, or recombination of pathogenicity island "modules.".

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13138-13147
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number15
StatePublished - Apr 12 2002


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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