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J Bacteriol. Apr 1995; 177(7): 1788–1796.
PMCID: PMC176807

Genomic organization of the Klebsiella pneumoniae cps region responsible for serotype K2 capsular polysaccharide synthesis in the virulent strain Chedid.


The genomic organization of the chromosomal cps region that is responsible for capsular polysaccharide synthesis in Klebsiella pneumoniae Chedid (O1:K2) was investigated. Deletion analyses and Southern hybridization studies suggested that the central region of the cloned 29-kb BamHI fragment is indispensable for K2 capsular polysaccharide synthesis. The 24,329-bp nucleotide sequence of the Klebsiella cps region was determined and deposited in the EMBL and GenBank databases through DDBJ and assigned accession number D21242. Nineteen possible open reading frames (ORFs) were identified in the sequenced area. Among them, 13 ORFs are very close to each other. Six of the 19 ORFs show considerable nucleotide sequence similarities to Salmonella typhimurium cpsG, cpsB, rfbP, and orf2.8, Escherichia coli gnd, and Haemophilus influenzae bexD, respectively. Moreover, the deduced amino acid sequence of the ORF10 product demonstrated a highly hydrophobic profile and showed putative membrane topology similarity to Rickettsia prowazekii ATP/ADP translocase. Nucleotide sequence similar to the sigma 54-dependent promoter, as well as the usual -35 and -10 sequences, were identified just upstream of ORF3, which is the first ORF in the polycistronic structure. Furthermore, a sequence (GGGCGGTAGCGT) found just downstream of the sigma 54-dependent promoter-like sequence was generally conserved among gene clusters implicated in cell surface polysaccharide synthesis, such as Salmonella rfb and viaB and E. coli kpsMT and rfaQPG. A possible transcriptional terminator with a hairpin loop structure found just downstream of ORF15 that is a homolog of E. coli gnd. K2 capsular polsaccharide biosynthesis in E. coli K-12 depends on cpsB (mannose-1-phosphate guanyltransferase gene), and Klebsiella cpsB, found in the downstream region of the polycistronic structure, was able to complement cpsB of E. coli. Results of transposon insertion and promoter-cloning analyses were consistent with the results of nucleotide sequence analysis.

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Selected References

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