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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 1998 Aug 1;165(1):35-41.

Differential effects of helper proteins encoded by the cry2A and cry11A operons on the formation of Cry2A inclusions in Bacillus thuringiensis.

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Interdepartmental Graduate Program in Genetics, University of California, Riverside 92521, USA.


To compare the differential effects of cry2A operon orf2 (29-kDa protein gene) and Cry11A operon orf3 (20-kDa protein gene) on Cry2A synthesis and inclusion formation, we expressed the cry2A gene along with either the 29-kDa gene, 20-kDa gene, or both genes. Constructs containing 20-kDa, in the presence or absence of 29-kDa, produced more Cry2A than constructs which lacked this gene. Cry2A synthesis was also higher when the 29-kDa gene was included with 20-kDa in the construct. However, even in the presence of increased Cry2A synthesis facilitated by the 20-kDa gene, typical Cry2A crystals did not form if the 29-kDa gene was not included in the construct. These results suggest that the 29-kDa and 20-kDa proteins have different functions, with the 20-kDa protein acting like a molecular chaperone to enhance net Cry2A synthesis, and the 29-kDa protein likely serving as a template for the stabilization of Cry2A molecules and their organization into the rectangular inclusion characteristic of wild-type Cry2A crystals.

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