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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2000 Sep 7;1493(1-2):259-63.

A gene cluster for the synthesis of serotype d-specific polysaccharide antigen in Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans.

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Department of Preventive Dentistry, Kyushu University Faculty of Dentistry, 3-1-1 Maidashi, Higashi-ku, 812-8582, Fukuoka, Japan.


The serotype d antigen of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans consists of D-glucose, D-mannose, and L-rhamnose in a molar ratio of 1:2:1. A gene cluster involved in the synthesis of serotype-specific polysaccharide antigen was cloned from the chromosomal DNA of A. actinomycetemcomitans IDH 781 (serotype d). This cluster consisted of 12 open reading frames. Insertional inactivation of six genes in this cluster resulted in loss of ability of A. actinomycetemcomitans IDH 781 cells to produce the polysaccharide. Comparing the structure of the gene cluster with similar clusters from other serotypes of A. actinomycetemcomitans, showed that eight genes are unique to serotype d; the other four genes are involved in the biosynthesis of dTDP-L-rhamnose. These results suggest that the synthesis and structure of serotype d-specific polysaccharide of A. actinomycetemcomitans is quite different from those of other serotype strains.

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