The complete nucleotide sequence of pETB, a 38.2-kb Staphylococcus aureus plasmid encoding the exfoliative toxin B (ETB), was determined. A total of 50 open reading frames were identified on the plasmid genome and, among these, 32 showed sequence similarity to known proteins, pETB contains three copies of IS257, which divide the pETB genome into three regions: (i) a cadmium resistance operon-containing region, (ii) a lantibiotic production gene-containing region, and (iii) the remaining part where genes for plasmid replication and/or maintenance are dispersed. In the third region, genes of various kinds of functions are present among the replication- and maintenance-related genes. They include two virulence-related genes, the etb gene and a gene encoding a novel ADP-ribosyltransferase closely related to EDIN, which belongs to the C3 family of ADP-ribosyltransferases modifying Rho GTPases. They also include genes for a cell wall-anchoring surface protein and a phage resistance protein. Based on the determined sequence of pETB, the genome structures of etb-bearing plasmids (ETB plasmids) from various clinical isolates were analyzed by the PCR scanning method. The data indicate that, although the ETB plasmids are highly heterogeneous in genome size, the fundamental genome organization is well conserved. The size variation of the plasmid is mainly attributed to defined regions which may be hot spots for gene shuffling.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Infectious Diseases