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Mol Microbiol. 1992 Apr;6(7):873-84.

Cloning, sequencing and distribution of the Salmonella typhimurium LT2 sialidase gene, nanH, provides evidence for interspecies gene transfer.

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Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, University of Illinois, Urbana 61801.


The Salmonella typhimurium LT2 sialidase (neuraminidase, EC structural gene, nanH, has been cloned and sialidase overproduced from multicopy plasmids in Escherichia coli. Sialidase expression was regulated positively by cAMP. In contrast, certain Tn1000 insertions located upstream of nanH coding sequences reduced sialidase activity. A nanH chromosomal insertion mutation constructed by marker exchange demonstrated a single sialidase gene copy in S. typhimurium LT2. The complete nucleotide sequence of nanH, encoding a 41,300 dalton polypeptide, was determined and the derived primary structure was similar to sialidases from Clostridium perfringens, Clostridium sordellii, Bacteroides fragilis, and Trypanosoma cruzi. Comparative sequence analysis, including codon usage and secondary structure predictions, indicated that the S. typhimurium and clostridial sialidases are homologous, strongly suggestive of an interspecies gene transfer event. At least two primary sequence motifs of the bacterial enzymes were detected in influenza A virus sialidases. The predicted secondary structure of the bacterial enzymes was strikingly similar to viral sialidase. From the population distribution of nanH detected within a collection of salmonellae, it was apparent that S. typhimurium obtained its nanH copy most recently from Salmonella arizonae. S. typhimurium LT2 is thus a genetic mosaic that differs from other strains of even the same serotype by nanH plus potentially additional characters linked to nanH. These results have relevance to the evolution and function of sialidases in pathogenic microbes, and to the origin of the sialic acids.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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