Evolution of sfbI Encoding Streptococcal Fibronectin-Binding Protein I: Horizontal Genetic Transfer and Gene Mosaic Structure

R TOWERS, Peter Fagan, S Talay, Bart Currie, K Sriprakash, M Walker, G CHHATWAL

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Streptococcal fibronectin-binding protein is an important virulence factor involved in colonization and invasion of epithelial cells and tissues by Streptococcus pyogenes. In order to investigate the mechanisms involved in the evolution of sjbI, the sjbI genes from 54 strains were sequenced. Thirty-four distinct alleles were identified. Three principal mechanisms appear to have been involved in the evolution of sjbI The amino-terminal aromatic amino acid-rich domain is the most variable region and is apparently generated by intergenic recombination of horizontally acquired DNA cassettes, resulting in a genetic mosaic in this region. Two distinct and divergent sequence types that shared only 61 to 70% identity were identified in the central proline-rich region, while variation at the 3' end of the gene is due to deletion or duplication of defined repeat units. Potential antigenic and functional variabilities in SfbI imply significant selective pressure in vivo with direct implications for the microbial pathogenesis of S. pyogenes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)5398-5406
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
    Volume41
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - 2003

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