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J Bacteriol. 1995 Mar;177(5):1247-53.

bor gene of phage lambda, involved in serum resistance, encodes a widely conserved outer membrane lipoprotein.

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Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115.


bor is one of two recently identified genes of phage lambda which are expressed during lysogeny and whose products display homology to bacterial virulence proteins. bor is closely related to the iss locus of plasmid CoIV,I-K94, which promotes bacterial resistance to serum complement killing in vitro and virulence in animals. bor has a similar in vitro effect. We show here that the bor gene product is a lipoprotein located in the Escherichia coli outer membrane. We also find that antigenically related proteins are expressed by lysogens of a number of other lambdoid coliphage, in cells carrying the cloned iss gene, and in several clinical isolates of E. coli. These results demonstrate that bor sequences are widespread and present a starting point for mechanistic analysis of bor-mediated serum resistance.

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