Characterization of the serpin-encoding gene of Bifidobacterium breve 210B.

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2010 May;76(10):3206-19. Epub 2010 Mar 26.

Characterization of the serpin-encoding gene of Bifidobacterium breve 210B.

Turroni F*, Foroni E, O'Connell Motherway M, Bottacini F, Giubellini V, Zomer A, Ferrarini A, Delledonne M, Zhang Z, van Sinderen D, Ventura M.

Department of Genetics, Biology of Microorganisms, Anthropology and Evolution, University of Parma, Parma, Italy.

Members of the serpin (serine protease inhibitor) superfamily have been identified in higher multicellular eukaryotes, as well as in bacteria, although examination of available genome sequences has indicated that homologs of the bacterial serpin-encoding gene (ser) are not widely distributed. In members of the genus Bifidobacterium this gene appears to be present in at least 5, and perhaps up to 9, of the 30 species tested. Moreover, phylogenetic analysis using available bacterial and eukaryotic serpin sequences revealed that bifidobacteria produce serpins that form a separate clade. We characterized the ser(210B) locus of Bifidobacterium breve 210B, which encompasses a number of genes whose deduced protein products display significant similarity to proteins encoded by corresponding loci found in several other bifidobacteria. Northern hybridization, primer extension, microarray, reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR), and quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) analyses revealed that a 3.5-kb polycistronic mRNA encompassing the ser(210B) operon with a single transcriptional start site is strongly induced following treatment of B. breve 210B cultures with some proteases. Interestingly, transcription of other bifidobacterial ser homologs appears to be triggered by different proteases.

PMID: 20348296

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