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Summary

Bordetella pertussis produces a porin protein which is a prominent outer membrane component found in both virulent and avirulent strains. N-terminal amino acid analysis of purified B. pertussis porin was performed and this amino acid sequence was used to design an oligonucleotide that was then utilized to screen a λgt11 library containing randomly sheared fragments of DNA from B. pertussis strain 347. One clone, λBpPor, was identified and subcloned into pUC18. A portion of the DNA Insert in this subclone, pBpPor1, was sequenced and shown to contain the N-terminal region of the structural porin gene. This truncated gene sequence was used to design an additional oligonucleotide that was used to identify a clone, pBpPor2, which overlapped with pBpPor1 and contained a termination codon. The structural gene deduced from this sequence would encode a 365-amino-acid polypeptide with a predicted mass of 39103 daltons. The predicted product also contains a signal sequence of 20 residues that is similar to that found in other porin genes. The predicted B. pertussis porin protein sequence contains regions that are homologous to regions found in porins expressed by Neisseria species and Escherichia coli, including the presence of phenylalanine as the carboxy-terminal amino acid. DNA hybridization studies indicated that both virulent and avirulent strains of B. pertussis contain only one copy of this gene and that Bordetella bronchiseptica and Bordetella parapertussis contain a similar gene.