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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Sequence homology between the subunits of two immunologically and functionally distinct types of fimbriae of Actinomyces spp.

Nucleotide sequencing of the type 1 fimbrial subunit gene of Actinomyces viscosus T14V revealed a consensus ribosome-binding site followed by an open reading frame of 1,599 nucleotides. The encoded protein of 533 amino acids (Mr = 56,899) was predominantly hydrophilic except for an amino-terminal signal peptide and a carboxy-terminal region identified as a potential membrane-spanning segment. Edman degradation of the cloned protein expressed in Escherichia coli and the type 1 fimbriae of A. viscosus T14V showed that both began with alanine at position 31 of the deduced amino acid sequence. The amino acid compositions of the cloned protein and fimbriae also were comparable and in close agreement with the composition of the deduced protein. The amino acid sequence of the A. viscosus T14V type 1 fimbrial subunit showed no significant global homology with various other proteins, including the pilins of gram-negative bacteria. However, 34% amino acid sequence identity was noted between the type 1 fimbrial subunit of strain T14V and the type 2 fimbrial subunit of Actinomyces naeslundii WVU45 (M. K. Yeung and J. O. Cisar, J. Bacteriol. 170:3803-3809, 1988). This homology included several different conserved sequences of up to eight identical amino acids that were distributed in both the amino- and carboxy-terminal thirds of each Actinomyces fimbrial subunit. These findings indicate that the different types of fimbriae on these gram-positive bacteria share a common ancestry.[1]


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