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The prgQ gene of the Enterococcus faecalis tetracycline resistance plasmid pCF10 encodes a peptide inhibitor, iCF10.

By J Nakayama, R E Ruhfel, G M Dunny, A Isogai and A Suzuki


Conjugative transfer of the Enterococcus faecalis tetracycline resistance plasmid pCF10 is stimulated by a peptide pheromone, cCF10. Once a recipient strain acquires pCF10 and thus becomes a pheromone-responsive donor, cCF10 activity is no longer detected in culture filtrates. Here we show that pCF10 encodes a peptide inhibitor, iCF10, secreted by donor cells; this inhibitor antagonizes the cCF10 activity in culture filtrates. In order to detect and quantitate iCF10, we developed a reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography assay in which the inhibitor peptide elutes separately from the pheromone; this type of assay enabled us to determine that lack of pheromone activity in donor culture filtrates was due to secretion of a mixture of iCF10 and cCF10, rather than abolition of cCF10 secretion. The gene encoding iCF10, prgQ, is located on the EcoRI-C fragment of pCF10. The open reading frame comprising the prgQ gene encodes a 23-amino-acid precursor that resembles a signal peptide. This precursor is cleaved to the mature heptapeptide iCF10 during the secretion process

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1994
DOI identifier: 10.1128/jb.176.23.7405-7408.1994
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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