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Microbiology. 2006 Feb;152(Pt 2):457-63.

Production and properties of the native Chromobacterium violaceum fucose-binding lectin (CV-IIL) compared to homologous lectins of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA-IIL) and Ralstonia solanacearum (RS-IIL).

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  • 1Faculty of Life Sciences, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 52900, Israel.


Chromobacterium violaceum is a versatile, violet pigment (violacein)-producing beta-proteobacterium, confined to tropical and subtropical regions, dwelling in soil and water, like Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Ralstonia solanacearum. These three bacteria are saprophytes that occasionally become aggressive opportunistic pathogens virulently attacking animals (the first two) and plants (the third). The recent availability of their genome sequences enabled identification in the C. violaceum genome of an ORF (locus no. 1744) that is similar to those of P. aeruginosa and R. solanacearum lectins, PA-IIL and RS-IIL, respectively. A recombinant protein, CV-IIL, encoded by that ORF exhibited fucose>mannose-specific lectin activity resembling PA-IIL. This paper describes production and properties of the native CV-IIL, which, like PA-IIL and RS-IIL, is probably also a quorum-sensing-driven secondary metabolite, appearing concomitantly with violacein. Its formation is repressed in the CV026 mutant of C. violaceum, which lacks endogenous N-acylhomoserine lactone. The upstream extragenic sequence of its ORF contains a 20 bp sequence (5'-101-120) with partial similarities to the luxI-box and the related P. aeruginosa and R. solanacearum promoter boxes of quorum-sensing-controlled genes. The lectin level is augmented by addition of trehalose to the medium. The subunit size of CV-IIL (around 11.86 kDa) is similar to those of PA-IIL (11.73 kDa) and RS-IIL (11.60 kDa). Like PA-IIL, in the tetrameric form CV-IIL preferentially agglutinates alpha1-2 fucosylated H-positive human erythrocytes (regardless of their A, B or O type), as opposed to the O(h) Bombay type, but differs from it in having no interaction with rabbit erythrocytes and in displaying stronger affinity to l-galactose than to l-fucose. The greater similarity of CV-IIL to PA-IIL than to RS-IIL might be related to the selective adaptation of both C. violaceum and P. aeruginosa to animal tissues versus the preferential homing of R. solanacearum to plants.

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