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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2008 Aug;285(2):170-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6968.2008.01217.x. Epub 2008 Jun 28.

PclA, a pneumococcal collagen-like protein with selected strain distribution, contributes to adherence and invasion of host cells.

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Division of Infection and Immunity, Institute of Biomedical and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Scotland, UK.


Analysis of Streptococcus pneumoniae sequenced genomes revealed a region present only in selected strains consisting of two ORFs: a putative cell wall anchored protein and a putative transcriptional regulator. The cell wall anchored protein contains large regions of collagen-like repeats, the number of which varies between strains. We have therefore named this protein PclA for pneumococcal collagen-like protein A. The second gene, spr1404, encodes a putative transcriptional regulator. We examined the strain distribution of these two genes among a collection of clinical isolates from invasive pneumococcal disease and found them to be present in 39% of the strains examined. Strains were either positive for both genes or lacked both, with the two genes always present together in the same location of the genome. RT-PCR analysis revealed that pclA is transcribed in vitro, even in the absence of spr1404. Single deletion mutants lacking either gene were not attenuated in a mouse model of invasive pneumonia. However, the pclA mutant was defective in adherence and invasion of host cells in vitro.

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