Identification of antigen-encoding genes of Enterococcus faecalis during human infections and characterization of a gene cluster for the biosynthesis of an antigenic polysaccharide
Genomic libraries of two Enterococcus faecalis strains, OG1RF and TX52 (an isolate from an endocarditis patient), were constructed in Escherichia coli and were screened with serum from a rabbit immunized with surface proteins of an E. faecalis endocarditis isolate and sera from four patients with enterococcal endocarditis. Thirty-eight immunopositive cosmid clones reacted with at least two of the patient sera and contained distinct inserts based on their DNA restriction patterns. These were chosen for further subcloning in a pBluescript SK ($-$) vector. Each sublibrary was screened with one of the five sera. Analysis of sequences from the immunopositive subclones revealed similarities to a range of proteins, including bacterial virulence factors, transporters, two-component regulators, metabolic enzymes, and membrane or cell surface proteins. Fourteen subclones did not show significant similarity to any sequence in the databases and may contain novel genes. Thirteen of the immunopositive cosmid clones did not yield immunopositive subclones and one such cosmid clone, TX5159, produced an antigenic polysaccharide in Escherichia coli. The insert of TX5159 was found to contain a multicistronic gene cluster containing genes similar to those involved in the biosynthesis and export of polysaccharides from both Gram-positive and Gram-negative organisms. Insertions in several genes within the cluster abolished the immunoreactivity of TX5159. RT-PCR of genes within the cluster with total RNA from OG1RF showed that these genes are transcribed. The polysaccharide was detected in two recently reported E. faecalis mucoid strains using specific antibody, but not in the other strains tested. This is the first report on a gene cluster of E. faecalis involved in the biosynthesis of an antigenic polysaccharide.
Xu, Yi, "Identification of antigen-encoding genes of Enterococcus faecalis during human infections and characterization of a gene cluster for the biosynthesis of an antigenic polysaccharide" (1998). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9909447.