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Trends Microbiol. 2002 May;10(5):246-9.

The PE multigene family: a 'molecular mantra' for mycobacteria.

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  • 1Laboratory of Mycobacterial Diseases and Cellular Immunology, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, Building 29 Room 502, 29 Lincoln Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA. Brennan@cber.fda.gov


The PE multigene family of Mycobacterium tuberculosis is remarkable in that it is composed of approximately 100 highly homologous genes that are found only in mycobacteria. Early evidence suggests that proteins encoded by certain members of this gene family could be present in the mycobacterial cell wall, impact antigen-presentation pathways and the ensuing host immune responses, and also provide a mechanism for generating antigenic diversity in mycobacteria.

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