Although Enterobacter sp. 532 shows pathogenicity in Bombyx mori, the insecticidal mechanisms are unclear. Here, we identified and characterised an insecticidal protein from Enterobacter. The insecticidal protein was purified from the strain and inoculated into B. mori larvae. Intracellular proteins were prepared, purified and separated by preparative native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE); one protein band had insecticidal activity. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-PAGE showed the presence of several bands, indicating that the insecticidal protein formed a complex. Peptide mass fingerprinting of a prominent 255.3-kDa band revealed 64 peptides that matched one protein with 33.0% sequence coverage. This protein was a homologue of the A component of the toxin complex (Tc), and the VRP1 domain was conserved; thus, the gene was named itcA (insecticidal toxin complex A). In the itcA downstream region, B and C component gene homologues were found, and these genes were located on an 86.2-kb contig sequence. Two repA genes and 27 genes related to conjugation transfer of plasmids were located on the contig, suggesting that the contig originated from a mobilisable plasmid. Therefore, these findings suggested that the strain may have acquired the Tc genes by horizontal transfer. This is the first description of Tc produced by the genus Enterobacter.
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