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Gene. 1998 Sep 28;219(1-2):9-17.

Sequence of the putative alanine racemase operon in Staphylococcus aureus: insertional interruption of this operon reduces D-alanine substitution of lipoteichoic acid and autolysis.

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Institute for Medical Microbiology, University of Zürich, Gloriastr. 32, 8028, Zürich, Switzerland.


A gene cluster comprising the alanine racemase gene alr was identified 5' to the sigB operon in Staphylococcus aureus. It is flanked upstream by four ORFs of which one shows similarity to the dpj gene of Escherichia coli, and downstream by two ORFs of which the last shows similarity to the E. coli pemK gene. Preliminary data suggest that the seven ORFs orf1-orf2-orf3-dpj-alr-orf6-pemK may form an operon. Disruption of the proposed operon by insertional mutagenesis leads to a drastic loss in the d-alanine (d-Ala) substitution of lipoteichoic acid and to delayed autolysis, without affecting the d-Ala substitution of the wall teichoic acid.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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