Molecular characterization of a Streptococcus mutans mutant altered in environmental stress responses

Y. Yamashita, T. Takehara, H. K. Kuramitsu

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A mutant defective in aciduricity, GS5Tn1, was constructed following mutagenesis of Streptococcus mutans GS5 with the conjugative transposon Tn916. The mutant grew poorly at acidic pH levels and was sensitive to high osmolarity and elevated temperatures. These properties resulted from a single insertion of Tn916 into the GS5 chromosome, and the DNA fragment harboring the transposon was isolated in the cosmid vector, charomid 9-20. Spontaneous excision of Tn916 from the cosmid revealed that Tn916 inserted into a 8.6-kb EcoRI fragment. On the basis of the restriction analyses of insert fragments, it was found that Tn916 inserted into a 0.9-kb EcoRI-XbaI fragment. Nucleotide sequence analysis of this fragment indicated the presence of two open reading frames, ORF1 and ORF2. By using a marker rescue strategy, a 6.0- kb HindIII fragment including the target site for Tn916 insertion and the 5' end of ORF1 was isolated and sequenced. The deduced amino acid sequences of ORF1 and ORF2 showed significant homology with the diacylglycerol kinase and Era proteins, respectively, from Escherichia coli. Nucleotide sequence analysis of the Tn916 insertion junction region in the GS5Tn1 chromosome revealed that the transposon inserted near the 3' terminus of ORF1. Restoration of ORF1 to its original sequence in mutant GS5Tn1 was carried out following transformation with integration vector pVA891 containing an intact ORF1. The resultant transformant showed wild-type levels of aciduricity as well as resistance to elevated temperatures and high osmolarity. These results suggest that the S. mutans homolog of diacylglycerol kinase is important for adaptation of the organism to several environmental stress signals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6220-6228
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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