We have cloned and studied the expression in Escherichia coli K-12 of chromosomal rfb genes determining the biosynthesis of the O7 lipopolysaccharide (LPS) antigen from E. coli K1 strain VW187. Two E. coli K-12 strains carrying recombinant cosmids gave positive coagglutination reactions with protein A-rich staphylococcal particles bearing an O7-specific rabbit polyclonal antiserum. Silver-stained polyacrylamide gels of total membranes extracted with hot phenol showed O side chain material which had O7 specificity as determined by immunoblotting experiments. However, the amount of O7 LPS expressed in E. coli K-12 was considerably lower than that produced by the wild-type strain VW187. Deletion and transposition experiments identified a region of about 17 kilobase pairs which is essential for the expression of O7 LPS. The existence of homologies between the O7 LPS genes and other E. coli O side chain genes was investigated by Southern blot hybridization experiments. An O7-specific probe fragment of 15 kilobase pairs did not hybridize to genomic DNA digests of E. coli strains belonging to several different O types, demonstrating that the O7 LPS genes are unique.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Infection and Immunity|
|Publication status||Published - 1989|