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Mol Microbiol. 1990 Jun;4(6):895-904.

Sequence analysis of Enterococcus faecalis aggregation substance encoded by the sex pheromone plasmid pAD1.

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Lehrstuhl für Mikrobiologie der Universität München, FRG.


The location of the structural gene for aggregation substance on the sex pheromone plasmid pAD1 of Enterococcus faecalis was determined using an oligonucleotide deduced from the N-terminal amino acid sequence of the purified protein. The nucleotide sequence was determined for the corresponding region and two open reading frames (ORFs) could be identified. ORF1 codes for a small (Mr 13,160) acidic protein of unknown function. The gene for aggregation substance (named asa1) was found to code for a protein of 1296 amino acids (Mr 142,248). The protein has a signal peptide of 43 amino acids (the resulting Mr for mature aggregation substance is 137,429) and contains in its C-terminal region a proline-rich sequence, previously characterized as being involved in cell wall association, which is followed by a membrane anchor. The membrane anchor showed significant similarity to that of other Gram-positive organisms, but no other similarities to surface proteins from Gram-positive bacteria were found. In particular, no repeats on the DNA or protein level could be detected for pAD1-specific aggregation substance. The protein contains the amino acid motifs Arg-Gly-Asp-Ser and Arg-Gly-Asp-Val (once each), which, it is proposed, play a crucial role in adherence to eukaryotic cells.

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