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

Localization of stx, a determinant essential for high-level production of shiga toxin by Shigella dysenteriae serotype 1, near pyrF and generation of stx transposon mutants.

Hfr strains of Shigella dysenteriae serotype 1 were constructed by transient integration of an RP4 plasmid derivative carrying transposon Tn501 into the Shigella chromosome through Tn501-mediated cointegration. The Hfr strains were mated with Escherichia coli K-12 recipients carrying various auxotrophic markers, and E. coli recombinants which had received prototrophic Shigella genes were selected. Some of the E. coli transconjugants produced high levels of a cytotoxin which was neutralized by both polyclonal and monoclonal anti-Shiga toxin sera. The determinant for Shiga toxin production, designated stx, was first transferred to E. coli K-12 and then mapped by Hfr crosses to the trp-pyrF region located at 30 min on the E. coli chromosome. Bacteriophage P1-mediated transduction analysis of stx gave the following gene order: trp-pyrF-stx. The level of Shiga toxin production in E. coli Stx+ transconjugants and transductants was as high as that of the parental S. dysenteriae 1 strain. Stx- mutants of an Stx+ E. coli transductant were generated by random in vivo insertion mutagenesis with a Tn10 derivative transposon, Tn-mini-kan, followed by P1 cotransduction of the kanamycin resistance and PyrF+ markers into a pyrF Stx+ E. coli K-12 recipient. One stx::Tn-mini-kan transposon mutation was transferred by P1 transduction from this E. coli Stx- mutant to an E. coli K-12 Hfr strain and in turn transferred by conjugation to the original S. dysenteriae 1 strain plus two others. All kanamycin-resistant recombinants of S. dysenteriae 1 had lost their ability to produce high levels of Shiga toxin. A gene that specifies high-level Shiga toxin production is thus located near pyrF on the chromosome of S. dysenteriae 1. Stx- mutants of S. dysenteriae 1 exhibited full virulence in the Serény test.[1]


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