Send to

Choose Destination
Tuberculosis (Edinb). 2008 Jul;88(4):283-94. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2008 Mar 4.

Mycobacterium tuberculosis PE_PGRS16 and PE_PGRS26 genetic polymorphism among clinical isolates.

Author information

Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, 109 S. Observatory Street, 4648 SPH I, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2029, USA.


The Mycobacterium tuberculosis PE_PGRS multigene family is thought to be involved in antigenic variation, which can be generated by differential regulation of expression and a high frequency of genetic polymorphism. PE_PGRS16 and PE_PGRS26 are inversely regulated during persistent M. tuberculosis infection, suggesting that differential regulation of the expression of these two PE_PGRS genes may have a role in latency. To understand how genetic diversity, in addition to differential regulation, contributes to antigenic variability, we investigated the sequence variations in the PE_PGRS16 and PE_PGRS26 genes among 200 clinical M. tuberculosis strains, in comparison to the sequenced laboratory strain H37Rv, using PCR and DNA sequencing. Among the 200 strains, 102 (51%) and 100 (50%) had sequence variations within the PE_PGRS16 gene and the PE_PGRS26 gene, respectively. In-frame insertions and deletions, frameshifts, and SNPs were observed in both the PE_PGRS16 gene and the PE_PGRS26 gene. However, the frequency of frameshifts and in-frame deletions differed between the two PE_PGRS genes. Examining the profile of the PE_PGRS16, PE_PGRS26, and the previously investigated PE_PGRS33 amino acid sequences for each of the 200 strains, 72 different profiles were observed with frequencies ranging from 0.5% to 13%. In conclusion, a remarkable level of genetic diversity exists in the PE_PGRS16 and PE_PGRS26 genes of M. tuberculosis clinical strains. The significant sequence variations in the two PE_PGRS genes observed in this study could impact the function of these two PE_PGRS proteins and be associated with differences in the ability of the tubercle bacilli to remain persistent within the host.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center