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Summary

Isolation and characterization of transposon-generated Mycoplasma genitalium gliding-deficient mutants has implicated mg200 and mg386 genes in gliding motility. The proposed role of these genes was confirmed by restoration of the gliding phenotype in deficient mutants through gene complementation with their respective mg386 or mg200 wild-type copies. mg200 and mg386 are the first reported gliding-associated mycoplasma genes not directly involved in cytadherence. Orthologues of MG200 and MG386 proteins are also found in the slow gliding mycoplasmas, Mycoplasma pneumoniae and Mycoplasma gallisepticum, suggesting the existence of a unique set of proteins involved in slow gliding motility. MG200 and MG386 proteins share common features, such as the presence of enriched in aromatic and glycine residues boxes and an acidic and proline-rich domain, suggesting that these motifs could play a significant role in gliding motility.