An individual Borrelia burgdorferi bacterium can encode as many as 13 different Erp (OspE/F-related) proteins from mono-and bicistronic loci that are carried on up to 10 separate plasmids. We demonstrate through multilabel immunofluorescence analyses that individual bacteria simultaneously coexpress their entire Erp protein repertoire. While it has been proposed that B. burgdorferi controls expression of Erp and other plasmid-encoded proteins through changes in DNA topology, we observed regulated Erp expression in the absence of detectable differences in DNA supercoiling. Likewise, inhibition of DNA gyrase had no detectable effect on Erp expression. Furthermore, expression of loci physically adjacent to erp loci was observed to be independently regulated. It is concluded that Erp expression is regulated by a mechanism(s) directed at erp loci and not by a global, plasmid-wide mechanism.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of Bacteriology|
|State||Published - 2002|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology