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Isolation and characterization of transposon Tn4001-generated, cytadherence-deficient transformants of Mycoplasma pneumoniae and Mycoplasma genitalium

Shanker P. Reddy, Wanda G. Rasmussen, Joel B. Baseman
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1574-695X.1996.tb00086.x 199-211 First published online: 1 October 1996

Abstract

Cytadherence and subsequent parasitism of host cells by the human pathogens, Mycoplasma pneumoniae and Mycoplasma genitalium, are mediated by adhesins and adherence-related accessory proteins. In this report we demonstrate the use of transposon Tn4001 to generate Tn-induced transformants displaying cytadherence-deficient characteristics. Mycoplasma pneumoniae Tn-generated transformant, designated 8R, lacked the high-molecular weight adherence-accessory proteins HMW1/4 and was deficient in hemadsorption and cytadherence capabilities. In transformant 8R, Tn4001 was not localized in or near the hmw1 gene or in the upstream adhesin (p30/hmw3) locus, suggesting an alternate site associated with the regulation of hmw1 gene expression. Sequence analysis identified the transposon insertion site at the crl locus previously reported, although the protein characteristics of transformant 8R differed from the earlier described transformants. The M. genitalium Tn-transformant, designated G26, was also defective in hemadsorption and cytadherence. However, transformant G26 synthesized adhesins P140 and P32 suggesting that Tn4001 transposed into a new gene or site previously unlinked to cytadherence, namely ORF MG032. This study demonstrates the utility of Tn4001 mutagenesis for both M. pneumoniae and M. genitalium which, in the latter case, has special relevance in light of the recent complete characterization of its continuous total genomic sequence.

Keywords
  • Mycoplasma pneumoniae
  • Mycoplasma genitalium
  • Hemadsorption
  • Cytadherence
  • Tn4001
  • Transposon mutagenesis