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Microb Drug Resist. 1997 Spring;3(1):89-99.

Characterization of the capsular polysaccharide biosynthesis locus of Streptococcus pneumoniae type 19F.

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Molecular Microbiology Unit, Women's and Children's Hospital, North Adelaide, S.A., Australia.


We have used a combination of plasmid insertion/rescue and inverse Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) to clone the region of the Streptococcus pneumoniae type 19F chromosome encoding biosynthesis of type 19F capsular polysaccharide (cps19f), which was then subjected to sequence analysis. The cps19f locus is located in the S. pneumoniae chromosome between dexB and aliA, and consists of 15 open reading frames (ORFs), designated cps19fA to cps19fO, that appear to be arranged as a single transcriptional unit. Insertion-duplication mutants in 13 of the 15 ORFs have been constructed in a smooth type 19F strain, all of which resulted in a rough (unencapsulated) phenotype, confirming that the operon is essential for capsule production. Comparison with sequence databases has allowed us to propose functions for 12 of the cps19f gene products, and a biosynthetic pathway for type 19F capsular polysaccharide. Southern hybridization analysis indicated that cps19fA and cps19fB were the only cps genes found in all 16 S. pneumoniae serotypes/groups tested. The region from cps19fG to cps19fK was found only in members of serogroup 19, and within this cps19fI was unique to type 19F.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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