We identified and sequenced a segment of Chlamydia trachomatis chromosomal DNA that shows homology to the Escherichia coli spc and distal region of the S10 ribosomal protein (r-protein) operons. Its sequence revealed a high degree of nucleotide and operon context conservation with the E. coli r-protein genes. The C. trachomatis spec operon contains the r-protein genes for L14, L24, L5, S8, L6, L18, S5, L15, and Sec Y along with the genes for r-proteins L16, L29, and S17 of the S10 operon. The two operons are separated by a 16-bp intragenic region which contains no transcription signals. However, a putative promoter for the transcription of the spc operon was found 162 nucleotides upstream of the CtrL14e start site; it revealed significant homology to the E. coli consensus promoter sequences. Interestingly, our results indicate the absence of any structure resembling an EcoS8 regulatory target site on C. trachomatis spc mRNA in spite of significant amino acid identity between E. coli and C. trachomatis r-proteins. Also, the intrinsic aminoglycoside resistance in C. trachomatis is unlikely to be mediated by CtrL6e since E. coli expressing CtrL6e remained susceptible to gentamicin (MIC less than 0.5 micrograms/ml)
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