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Tuberculosis (Edinb). 2004;84(3-4):256-62.

Regulation of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis PE/PPE genes.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver 80262, USA.


The genome of Mycobacterium tuberculosis encodes approximately 170 members of the unique mycobacterial PE and PPE gene families. Evidence suggests members of these families are surface-associated cell wall proteins that may provide a diverse antigenic profile and affect immunity. To determine if the expression patterns of PE/PPE genes are consistent with a role in antigenic variability, we analyzed microarray data from 132 experimental conditions for expression of PE/PPE genes. Whole genome expression patterns show that the PE/PPE genes are regulated in a variable and largely independent manner. Gene expression profiling of 15 unique conditions identified differential regulation of 128 of the 169 PE/PPE genes. Expression of the PE/PPE genes appears to be controlled by a variety of independent mechanisms. These data indicate that differential expression of the PE/PPE genes has the potential to provide a dynamic antigenic profile during the course of changing microenvironments within the host.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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