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Gene. 1996 Jun 12;172(1):99-104.

Expression and functional characterisation of the clpC gene of Mycobacterium leprae: ClpC protein elicits human antibody response.

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Department of Biotechnology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.


This paper reports the expression of a previously described gene [Nath and Laal, Nucleic Acids Res. 18 (1990) 4935], currently identified as the clpC gene of Mycobacterium leprae, using an in vitro rabbit reticulocyte lysate-coupled transcription/translation system. The produced protein moved as a 95-kDa band on SDS-PAGE. An additional band of 79 kDa was seen which may have resulted from a GTG codon downstream to the initiating ATG in the clpC sequence. A threefold increase in synthesis of the 95-kDa protein was achieved by altering the translation codon context sequence of the ATG start codon. The ClpC (caseinolytic protease C) amino acid sequence, which contained two nucleotide-binding sites, exhibited in vitro ATP binding. Of functional significance was its immunoreactivity in human subjects with mycobacterial infection. Leprosy and tuberculosis patients with active disease had antibodies which recognised ClpC in dot ELISA.

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