Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Mol Microbiol. 2005 Jun;56(5):1302-13.

Reduced expression of antigenic proteins MPB70 and MPB83 in Mycobacterium bovis BCG strains due to a start codon mutation in sigK.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, Division of Experimental Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.

Abstract

Mycobacterium bovis Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) strains are genetically and phenotypically heterogeneous. Expression of the antigenic proteins MPB70 and MPB83 is known to vary considerably across BCG strains; however, the reason for this phenotypic difference has remained unknown. By immunoblot, we separated BCG into high- and low-producing strains. By quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), we determined that transcription of the antigen-encoding genes, mpb70 and mpb83, follows the same strain pattern with mRNA levels reduced over 50-fold in low-producing strains. Transcriptome comparison of the same BCG strains by DNA microarray revealed two gene regions consistently downregulated in low-producing strains compared with high-producing strains, one including mpb70 (Rv2875) and mpb83 (Rv2873) and a second that includes the predicted sigma factor, sigK. DNA sequence analysis revealed a point mutation in the start codon of sigK in all low-producing BCG strains. Complementation of a low-producing strain, BCG Pasteur, with wild-type sigK fully restored MPB70 and MPB83 production. Microarray-based analysis and confirmatory RT-PCR of the complemented strains revealed an upregulation in gene transcription limited to the sigK and the mpb83/mpb70 gene regions. These data demonstrate that a mutation of sigK is responsible for decreased expression of MPB70 and MPB83 in low-producing BCG strains and provide clues into the role of Mycobacterium tuberculosis SigK.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center