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Microbiology. 2005 May;151(Pt 5):1369-79.

CAMP factor homologues in Propionibacterium acnes: a new protein family differentially expressed by types I and II.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunobiology, School of Medicine, Queen's University, Grosvenor Road, Belfast BT12 6BN, UK.


Analysis of the draft genome sequence of the opportunistic pathogen Propionibacterium acnes type strain NCTC 737 (=ATCC 6919) revealed five genes with sequence identity to the co-haemolytic Christie-Atkins-Munch-Peterson (CAMP) factor of Streptococcus agalactiae. The predicted molecular masses for the expressed proteins ranged from 28 to 30 kDa. The genes were present in each of the three recently identified recA-based phylogenetic groupings of P. acnes (IA, IB and II), as assessed by PCR amplification. Conserved differences in CAMP factor gene sequences between these three groups were also consistent with their previous phylogenetic designations. All type IA, IB and II isolates were positive for the co-haemolytic reaction on sheep blood agar. Immunoblotting and silver staining of SDS-PAGE gels, however, revealed differential protein expression of CAMP factors amongst the different groups. Type IB and II isolates produced an abundance of CAMP factor 1, detectable by specific antibody labelling and silver staining of SDS-PAGE gels. In contrast, abundant CAMP factor production was lacking in type IA isolates, although larger amounts of CAMP factor 2 were detectable by immunoblotting compared with type II isolates. While the potential role of the abundant CAMP factor 1 in host colonization or virulence remains to be determined, it should be noted that the type strain of P. acnes used in much of the published literature is a type IA isolate and is, therefore, lacking in this attribute.

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