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J Bacteriol. 1995 Sep;177(18):5350-4.

Cloning of the mgtE Mg2+ transporter from Providencia stuartii and the distribution of mgtE in gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio 44106-4965, USA.


The MM281 strain of Salmonella typhimurium possesses mutations in each of its three Mg2+ transport systems, requires 100 mM Mg2+ for growth, and was used to screen a genomic library from the gram-negative bacterium Providencia stuartii for clones that could restore the ability to grow without Mg2+ supplementation. The clones obtained also conferred sensitivity to Co2+, a phenotype similar to that seen with the S. typhimurium corA Mg2+ transport gene. The sequence of the cloned P. stuartii DNA revealed the presence of a single open reading frame, which was shown to express a protein with a gel molecular mass of 37 kDa in agreement with the deduced size of 34 kDa. Despite a phenotype similar to that of corA and the close phylogenetic relationship between P. stuartii and S. typhimurium, this new putative Mg2+ transporter lacks similarity to the CorA Mg2+ transporter and is instead homologous to MgtE, a newly discovered Mg2+ transport protein from the gram-positive bacterium Bacillus firmus OF4. The distribution of mgtE in bacteria was studied by Southern blot hybridization to PCR amplification products. In contrast to the ubiquity of the corA gene, which encodes the dominant constitutive Mg2+ influx system of bacteria, mgtE has a much more limited phylogenetic distribution.

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