Genetic organization of the region upstream from the Campylobacter jejuni flagellar gene flhA

Shohreh Miller, Everett C. Pesci, Carol L. Pickett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Campylobacter jejuni (Cj) is a Gram- bacterium that causes a diarrheal disease in humans. A Cj homolog of the LcrD/FlhA family of proteins was recently described [Miller et al., Infect. Immun. 61 (1993) 2930-2936]. This family includes proteins that are involved in flagellar biogenesis, such as the Cj FlhA protein, but also includes proteins found in invasive pathogens, such as the Yersinia pestis LcrD protein, that play a role in the regulation and/or secretion of virulence-related proteins. Hybridization studies indicated that both the flhA gene and upstream DNA are present in several bacterial species closely related to Cj, including C. fetus, C. lari, C. upsaliensis and C. hyointestinalis. The presence of a second flhA/lcrD homolog was not detected in Cj, indicating that a separate homolog involved in secretion of virulence proteins may not be present. The 4-kb region immediately upstream from Cj flhA was analyzed. Three open reading frames (ORFs) were found: a 408-nucleotide (nt) gene encoding a homolog of proteins present in Escherichia coli and Desulfovibrio vulgaris, but of unknown function, a 266-nt rpsO gene and a 2823-nt gene encoding a homolog of the Bacillus subtilis SpoIIIE protein. The Cj SpoIIIE homolog had 53% similar or identical amino acids when compared to the B. subtilis protein, and like the B. subtilis protein contained a nt-binding domain and potential transmembrane (TM) regions. All three ORFs were expressed in E. coli minicells, apparently from their own promoters. Northern analysis and primer extension experiments suggested that these genes have their own promoters and that none of them are cotranscribed with flhA, even though one overlapped flhA by 14 nt. This extends the pattern of monocistronic operons found so far in Cj.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-38
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 19 1994

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Thanks to D. Cottle for technical assistancew ith many of the experiments. This work was supported in part by National Institutes of Health grant AI-27908.


  • Sporulation homolog
  • chemotaxis
  • minicell expression
  • pathogenesis
  • promoters
  • rpsO gene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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