alexa Genetic analysis of capsular polysaccharide synthesis gene clusters from all serotypes of Streptococcus suis: potential mechanisms for generation of capsular variation
Microbiology

Microbiology

Journal of Bacteriology & Parasitology

Author(s): Masatoshi Okura, Daisuke Takamatsu, Fumito Maruyama, Takashi Nozawa, Ichiro Nakagawa

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Streptococcus suis strains are classified into 35 serotypes on the basis of the antigenicity of their capsular polysaccharides (CPs). CP synthesis genes are known to be clustered on the chromosome (cps gene cluster). The entire cps gene clusters of S. suis have so far been sequenced in 15 serotypes and found to be located between orfZ and aroA. In this study, to provide comprehensive information about S. suis CPs, we sequenced the entire cps gene clusters of the remaining serotypes and analyzed the complete set of S. suis cps gene clusters. Among the 35 cps gene clusters, 22 were located between orfZ and aroA, whereas the other 13 were flanked by other gene(s) on the chromosomes, and the chromosomal locus was classified into five patterns. By clustering analysis, the predicted products of cps genes found in the 35 serotypes were assigned into 291 homology groups, and all serotypes possessed a serotype-specific gene, except for serotypes 1, 2, 1/2, and 14. Because of the presence of genes encoding flippase (wzx) and polymerase (wzy), CPs of all serotypes were thought to be synthesized by the Wzx/Wzy pathway. Our data also implied the possibility of the transfer of the entire or partial cps gene clusters among S. suis strains, as well as the influence of spontaneous mutations in a single gene or a few genes on the antigenicity of some serotypes. Accumulation of these gene transfers and small-scale mutations may have generated the antigenic diversity of S. suis CPs.

This article was published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology and referenced in Journal of Bacteriology & Parasitology

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