We had isolated three genes (rmlA, rmlB, and rmlC) involved in dTDP- rhamnose synthesis in Streptococcus mutans and found that three genes were insufficient for dTDP-rhamnose synthesis (Y. Tsukioka, Y. Yamashita, T. Oho, Y. Nakano, and T. Koga, J. Bacteriol. 179:1126-1134, 1997). The rmlD gene of S. mutans, encoding the enzyme which catalyzes the last step of dTDP- rhamnose synthesis, has been cloned and sequenced. The cell extract of Escherichia coli expressing the rmlD gene of S. mutans exhibited enzymatic activity corresponding to its counterpart in Shigella flexneri, a gram- negative bacterium. Rhamnose was not detected in the cell wall preparation purified from the mutant in which the cloned gene was insertionally inactivated. Rabbit antiserum against S. mutans serotype c-specific antigen did not react with autoclaved extracts from the mutant. The rmlD gene product of S. mutans compensated for the incompleteness of dTDP-rhamnose synthesis by the three previously isolated genes. These results indicate that the rmlD gene product is indispensable for the dTDP-rhamnose pathway and subsequently far the synthesis of serotype-specific antigen in S. mutans. Furthermore, conservation of the rmlD gene in Streptococcus species was demonstrated by Southern blot analysis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology