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Microb Pathog. 1989 Mar;6(3):203-17.

Expression of the low calcium response in Yersinia pestis.

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Department of Microbiology and Public Health, Michigan State University, East Lansing 48824-1101.


Pathogenic yersiniae undergo an established low calcium response (LCR) at 37 degrees C in Ca2+-deficient media characterized by restricted growth with synthesis of Lcr plasmid-encoded virulence functions. The latter include outer membrane peptides (Yops) known to undergo Pst plasmid-mediated post-translational degradation in Yersinia pestis but not in enteropathogenic yersiniae lacking this plasmid. Salient Yops of Y. pestis are shown here to be either maintained in the steady state or to exist as a stable degradation product (p24 of Yop E). Processing of plague plasminogen activator (p36 to p33), responsible for hydrolysis of Yops, required 2 h. Avirulence of mutants with inserted Mu dl1 (Apr lac) in yopE was verified and shown to occur independently of introduced fusion-dependent peptides. However, avirulence of such yopE mutants but not that of isolates lacking the Lcr plasmid was phenotypically suppressed in mice injected with iron. Appearance of 20,500 and 40,500 Da heat-shock peptides preceded onset of the LCR. Lcr plasmid mediated V antigen (p38) and p20, Pst plasmid-encoded p36, and chromosomally promoted p56 and p70 were synthesized throughout the LCR. Classical antigen 5 was equated with p70 which was shared by Yersinia pseudotuberculosis but not Yersinia enterocolitica.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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