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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2003 Jun 6;223(1):21-4.

The Bacillus cereus bceT enterotoxin sequence reappraised.

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Department of Environmental Chemistry and Microbiology, National Environmental Research Institute, Frederiksborgvej 399, DK-4000, Roskilde, Denmark.


Bacillus cereus is a known opportunistic human pathogen belonging to the B. cereus group. Establishment of the pathogenesis most likely involves several gene products. One of these gene products, a single gene component named bceT, has been cloned and described from B. cereus B-4ac [Agata et al., Microbiology 141 (1995) 983-988]. However, our sequences of the bceT region from 16 B. cereus group strains showed inconsistency with the published bceT sequence. Only part of the bceT sequence had homology to our sequences. This initiated a more thorough investigation of the bceT sequence. Restriction site search and database searches intimated that the cloned bceT was created by an incidental joining of four DNA fragments during ligation. One of these fragments had 93% homology to an open reading frame (ORF 101) located within the pathogenic island of the Bacillus anthracis pXO1 virulence plasmid. We suggest that the reported enterotoxic activity of the original cloned bceT construct could be due to either the fusion gene or the fragment with homology to ORF 101 in pXO1.

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