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Gene. 1995 Aug 8;161(1):57-61.

Cloning and characterization of the cytotoxin L-encoding gene of Clostridium sordellii: homology with Clostridium difficile cytotoxin B.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Toxinologie Bactérienne, Université Louis-Pasteur, Strasbourg, France.


Hybridization of an oligodeoxyribonucleotide (oligo) probe, designed from a repeated sequence ('oligo rep') at the C terminus of the Clostridium difficile (Cd) cytotoxin (Cyt), revealed that homologies exist between the Cd cyt gene and the genomes of several other clostridia, including Clostridium sordellii (Cs), suggesting a common ancestral cyt amongst the Clostridium genus. This Cd 'oligo rep' probe was used to clone the Cs (strain 6018) cyt. The sequenced (7095 bp) region encodes 2364 amino acids (aa) and corresponds to a protein of 270,614 Da. Cs Cyt has 76% identity with the Cd Cyt and 47% identity with the Cd enterotoxin (Ent). The latter third of the protein consists of repeated units, similar to those found for Cd Cyt. A highly conserved hydrophobic domain can be delineated. Few structural differences are evident between Cd and Cs Cyt to explain their different cellular and sub-cellular effects. A small open reading frame (ORF) encoding a protein of 16,484 Da is located 210 bp downstream from cyt. No homology was evident with any known sequence. The first 30 aa of this ORF may correspond to a signal peptide.

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