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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2001 Dec 18;98(26):15264-9. Epub 2001 Dec 11.

Epitope tagging of chromosomal genes in Salmonella.

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  • 1Centre de Génétique Moléculaire, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 91198 Gif-sur-Yvette, France.


We have developed a simple and efficient procedure for adding an epitope-encoding tail to one or more genes of interest in the bacterial chromosome. The procedure is a modification of the gene replacement method of Datsenko and Wanner [Datsenko, K. A. & Wanner, B. L. (2000) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 97, 6640-6645]. A DNA module that begins with the epitope-encoding sequence and includes a selectable marker is amplified by PCR with primers that carry extensions (as short as 36 nt) homologous to the last portion of the targeted gene and to a region downstream from it. Transformation of a strain expressing bacteriophage lambda red functions yields recombinants carrying the targeted gene fused to the epitope-encoding sequence. The resulting C-terminal-tagged protein can be identified by standard immuno-detection techniques. In an initial application of the method, we have added the sequences encoding the FLAG and 3xFLAG and influenza virus hemagglutinin epitopes to various genes of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, including putative and established pathogenic determinants present in prophage genomes. Epitope fusion proteins were detected in bacteria growing in vitro, tissue culture cells, and infected mouse tissues. This work identified a prophage locus specifically expressed in bacteria growing intracellularly. The procedure described here should be applicable to a wide variety of Gram-negative bacteria and is particularly suited for the study of intracellular pathogens.

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