We cloned four genes from the Porphyromonas gingivalis chromosome, the gene products of which catalyze the anabolism of dTDP-L-rhamnose from D-glucose-1-phosphate when they were expressed in Escherichia coli. The amino acid sequences deduced from these genes showed significant homology to proteins encoded by the rml genes involved in dTDP-L-rhamnose biosynthesis in other gram-negative bacteria. Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction analysis revealed that these four genes are expressed as a single transcript in P. gingivalis. To clarify the role of the rml gene homologs in this organism, construction of mutants defective in the rml gene homologs was attempted by allelic exchange. Unexpectedly, any mutants defective in the rml gene homologs were unable to be isolated, and the allelic exchange was possible only if the wild-type rml gene homologs were present on the chromosome. These results suggest that the rml gene homologs might be essential for the viability of P. gingivalis under the culture conditions used in this study.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Microbiology (medical)