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Infect Immun. 1995 Aug;63(8):3227-30.

Localization of the promoter for the ptl genes of Bordetella pertussis, which encode proteins essential for secretion of pertussis toxin.

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Division of Bacterial Products, Food and Drug Administration, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


The ptl locus of Bordetella pertussis, which encodes proteins necessary for the secretion of pertussis toxin into the extracellular medium, is located directly downstream from the ptx locus, which encodes the structural subunits of the toxin. We have found that the ptx promoter is essential for expression of the ptl genes. A strain of B. pertussis which lacked only the ptx promotor region but which retained all other portions of the ptx-ptl region did not produce PtlF. Moreover, insertion of a functional ptx promoter from B. pertussis at the 5' end of the ptx region of Bordetella bronchiseptica resulted in the production of PtlF in B. bronchiseptica, a species which normally does not produce PtlF. These results suggest that the ptx operon is larger than originally proposed and contains both the ptx and ptl genes.

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