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J Bacteriol. 2011 Oct;193(19):5498-509. doi: 10.1128/JB.00438-11. Epub 2011 Jul 29.

Glycosylation of DsbA in Francisella tularensis subsp. tularensis.

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Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Porton Down, Wiltshire, UK.


In Francisella tularensis subsp. tularensis, DsbA has been shown to be an essential virulence factor and has been observed to migrate to multiple protein spots on two-dimensional electrophoresis gels. In this work, we show that the protein is modified with a 1,156-Da glycan moiety in O-linkage. The results of mass spectrometry studies suggest that the glycan is a hexasaccharide, comprised of N-acetylhexosamines, hexoses, and an unknown monosaccharide. Disruption of two genes within the FTT0789-FTT0800 putative polysaccharide locus, including a galE homologue (FTT0791) and a putative glycosyltransferase (FTT0798), resulted in loss of glycan modification of DsbA. The F. tularensis subsp. tularensis ΔFTT0798 and ΔFTT0791::Cm mutants remained virulent in the murine model of subcutaneous tularemia. This indicates that glycosylation of DsbA does not play a major role in virulence under these conditions. This is the first report of the detailed characterization of the DsbA glycan and putative role of the FTT0789-FTT0800 gene cluster in glycan biosynthesis.

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