Cloning and characterization of a region of Enterococcus faecalis plasmid pPD1 encoding pheromone inhibitor (ipd), pheromone sensitivity (traC), and pheromone shutdown (traB) genes

J. Nakayama, K. Yoshida, H. Kobayashi, A. Isogai, D. B. Clewell, A. Suzuki

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Bacteriocin plasmid pPD1 in Enterococcus faecalis encodes a mating response to recipient-produced sex pheromone cPD1. Once a recipient acquires pPD1, transconjugants apparently shut off cPD1 activity in broth culture and no longer behave as recipients for pPD1. This event is performed by synthesis of the pheromone inhibitor iPD1 and also by repression of cPD1 production, the so-called 'pheromone shutdown.' A 5.4-kb EcoRV-HincII segment of pPD1, which expressed iPD1 in Escherichia coli, was sequenced and found to be organized as traC-traB-traA-ipd; each open reading frame is analogous to that found in other pheromone plasmids, pAD1 and pCF10, and thus is designated in accordance with the nomenclature in pAD1. The ipd gene encodes a peptide consisting of 21 amino acids, in which the C-terminal eight residues correspond to iPD1. The putative TraC product has a strong similarity to oligopeptide-binding proteins found in other bacterial species, as do pheromone-binding proteins of pCF10 and pPD1. A strain carrying traC- disrupted pPD1 required a concentration of cPD1 fourfold higher than that needed by the wild-type strain for induction of sexual aggregation. These results suggest that the TraC product contributes to pheromone sensitivity as o pheromone-binding protein. A strain transformed with traB-disrupted pPD1 produced a high level of cPD1 similar to that produced by plasmid-free recipients and underwent self-induction. Thus, the TraB product contributes to cPD1 shutdown.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5567-5573
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1995


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology

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