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Res Microbiol. 2000 Jul-Aug;151(6):429-35.

Current trends in capsular polysaccharide biosynthesis of Streptococcus pneumoniae.

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Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, CSIC, Madrid, Spain.


The capsular gene cluster (cap/cps) of 13 out of the 90 known pneumococcal types has been sequenced. The cap/cps operon, located between dexB and aliA in the Streptococcus pneumoniae chromosome, contains some of the genes responsible for the synthesis of the type-specific polysaccharide flanked by four conserved open reading frames. The biochemical function of only a few capsular genes has been established, whereas the role of the flanking regions is controversial. Remarkably, only one gene (tts) located outside the cap locus is required for the synthesis of type 37 capsule. Moreover, other genes not linked to the cap gene cluster are also needed for capsule synthesis in pneumococcus.

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