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Staphylococcal enterotoxin A gene is associated with a variable genetic element.

By M J Betley, S Löfdahl, B N Kreiswirth, M S Bergdoll and R P Novick


The genetic determinant of Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxin A (SEA) has been cloned in pBR322 in Escherichia coli and found to be expressed and secreted into the periplasmic space in that organism. The SEA gene (entA) is within a 2.5-kilobase-pair HindIII fragment that is part of a discrete genetic element 8-12 kilobase pairs in length. This entA element has a standard chromosomal location [between the purine (pur) and isoleucine-valine (ilv) markers] in most S. aureus strains. In some strains it is unlinked to pur-ilv. However, its internal structure is conserved at different locations. Some naturally occurring SEA-nonproducer (EntA-) strains lack the entire entA element, and one instance of its spontaneous loss is reported. Other naturally occurring strains have EntA- structural variants of the element at the same pur-ilv location at which the intact element is most commonly found. Some of these strains are EntA-, others are EntA+; the latter have a second, unlinked copy of the element containing their functional entA gene. These results suggest that entA is associated with a structurally unstable, possibly mobile, discrete genetic element

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1984
DOI identifier: 10.1073/pnas.81.16.5179
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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