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J Bacteriol. 2005 Jun;187(11):3698-707.

Structural comparison of ten serotypes of staphylocoagulases in Staphylococcus aureus.

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  • 1Department of Infection Control Science, Juntendo University, 2-1-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan 113-8421.


Staphylocoagulase detection is the hallmark of a Staphylococcus aureus infection. Ten different serotypes of staphylocoagulases have been reported to date. We determined the nucleotide sequences of seven staphylocoagulase genes (coa) and their surrounding regions to compare structures of all 10 staphylocoagulase serotypes, and we inferred their derivations. We found that all staphylocoagulases are comprised of six regions: signal sequence, D1 region, D2 region, central region, repeat region, and C-terminal sequence. Amino acids at both ends, 33 amino acids in the N terminal (the signal sequences and the seven N-terminal amino acids in the D1 region) and 5 amino acids in the C terminal, were exactly identical among the 10 serotypes. The central regions were conserved with identities between 80.6 and 94.1% and similarities between 82.8 and 94.6%. Repeat regions comprising tandem repeats of 27 amino acids with a 92% identity on average were polymorphic in the number of repeats. On the other hand, D1 regions other than the seven N-terminal amino acids and D2 regions were less homologous, with diverged identities from 41.5 to 84.5% and 47.0 to 88.9%, respectively, and similarities from 53.5 to 88.7% and 56.8 to 91.9%, respectively, although the predicted prothrombin-binding sites were conserved among them. In contrast, flanking regions of coa were highly homologous, with nucleotide identities of more than 97.1%. Phylogenetic relations among coa did not correlate with those among the flanking regions or housekeeping genes used for multilocus sequence typing. These data indicate that coa could be transmitted to S. aureus, while the less homologous regions in coa presumed to be responsible for different antigenicities might have evolved independently.

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