BpaB, a novel protein encoded by the Lyme disease spirochete's cp32 prophages, binds to erp Operator 2 DNA

Logan H. Burns, Claire A. Adams, Sean P. Riley, Brandon L. Jutras, Amy Bowman, Alicia M. Chenail, Anne E. Cooley, Laura A. Haselhorst, Alisha M. Moore, Kelly Babb, Michael G. Fried, Brian Stevenson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Borrelia burgdorferi produces Erp outer surface proteins throughout mammalian infection, but represses their synthesis during colonization of vector ticks. A DNA region 50 of the start of erp transcription, Operator 2, was previously shown to be essential for regulation of expression. We now report identification and characterization of a novel erp Operator 2-binding protein, which we named BpaB. erp operons are located on episomal cp32 prophages, and a single bacterium may contain as many as 10 different cp32s. Each cp32 family member encodes a unique BpaB protein, yet the three tested cp32-encoded BpaB alleles all bound to the same DNA sequence. A 20-bp region of erp Operator 2 was determined to be essential for BpaB binding, and initial protein binding to that site was required for binding of additional BpaB molecules. A 36-residue region near the BpaB carboxy terminus was found to be essential for high-affinity DNA-binding. BpaB competed for binding to erp Operator 2 with a second B. burgdorferi DNAbinding protein, EbfC. Thus, cellular levels of free BpaB and EbfC could potentially control erp transcription levels.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbergkq284
Pages (from-to)5443-5455
Number of pages13
JournalNucleic Acids Research
Issue number16
StatePublished - Apr 26 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for open access charge: US National Institutes of Health (grant R01-AI044254 to B. S. and R01-GM070662 to M.F.); NIH Training Grant in Microbial Pathogenesis T32-AI49795 (to L.B. and S.R.).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'BpaB, a novel protein encoded by the Lyme disease spirochete's cp32 prophages, binds to erp Operator 2 DNA'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this