Two linked genes for outer membrane proteins are absent in four non-disease strains of Haemophilus somnus

Authors

  • S. P. Cole,

    1. Department of Pathology, H811F, University of California, San Diego Medical Center, 225 Dickinson Street, San Diego, California 92103-8416, USA.
    2. Department of Medicine, H811F, University of California, San Diego Medical Center, 225 Dickinson Street, San Diego, California 92103-8416, USA.
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  • D. G. Guiney,

    1. Department of Medicine, H811F, University of California, San Diego Medical Center, 225 Dickinson Street, San Diego, California 92103-8416, USA.
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  • L. B. Corbeil

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Pathology, H811F, University of California, San Diego Medical Center, 225 Dickinson Street, San Diego, California 92103-8416, USA.
    • *For correspondence. Tel. (619) 543 6146; Fax (619) 543 6614.

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Summary

Linked genes encoding two outer membrane proteins (p76 and a family of proteins, p120) of the bovine pathogen, Haemophilus somnus, were investigated. The p120 group was previously shown to have immunoglobulin-binding activity and to react with polyclonal antiserum specific for a 270 kDa antigen (p270) which also had immunoglobulin Fc-binding activity. By Western blotting we showed that the p76 antigen also reacted with this antiserum. The p270, p120, and p76 antigens were undetectable in four serum-sensitive isolates from asymptomatic carriers but were present in the two serum-resistant virulent strains tested. Genes for p120 and p76 were subcloned on non-overlapping pUC plasmids from a cosmid (pHS1) originally cloned from a serum-resistant strain. In Escheriehia coli, plasmid pHS138 expressed p76, while the p120 antigens were produced by pHS140. Southern blots of DNA from the above six strains of H. somnus using probes derived from pHS1 subclones showed that a 13.4kb sequence was missing from the four serum-sensitive strains, but not the two serum-resistant strains. This segment included most of the insert in pHS138 and all of the pHS140 insert. The data indicate that p76 and the p120 proteins are absent from serum-sensitive strains because the coding sequences are missing, raising the possibility of insertion of these genes into the chromosome of both serum-resistant strains, or deletion from the four serum-sensitive strains.

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