Genetic organization and sequence of the rfb gene cluster of Yersinia enterocolitica serotype O:3: similarities to the dTDP‐L‐rhamnose biosynthesis pathway of Salmonella and to the bacterial polysaccharide transport systems

Lijuan Zhang, Ayman Al-Hendy, Paavo Toivanen, Mikael Skumik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

83 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Yersinia enterocolitica O:3 lipopotysaccharide O‐antigen is a homopotymer of 6‐deoxy‐L‐altrose. The cloned rfb region was sequenced, and 10 open reading frames were identified. Transposon mutagenesis, deletion analysis and transcomplementatton experiments showed that eight of the genes, organized into two operons, rfbABC and rfbDEFGH, are essential for 0‐antigen synthesis. Functional tandem promoters were identified upstream of both operons. Of the deduced polypeptides RfbA, RfbF and RfbG were similar to Salmonella proteins involved in the dTDP‐l‐rhamnose biosynthesis. Rhamnose and 6‐deoxy‐l‐altrose are C3‐epimers suggesting that analogous pathways function in their biosynthesis. RfbD and RfbE were similar to capsular polysaccharide export proteins, e.g. KpsM and KpsT of Escherichia coli. This and transposon mutagenesis showed that RfbD and RfbE function as O‐antigen exporters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-321
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular Microbiology
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology

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