Regulation of botulinum toxin complex formation in Clostridium botulinum type A NCTC 2916

Davis, Tom Owen (1999). Regulation of botulinum toxin complex formation in Clostridium botulinum type A NCTC 2916. PhD thesis The Open University.



Genomic DNA fragments encoding the silent type B neurotoxin gene from Clostridium botulinum NCTC 2916 have been cloned and the complete nucleotide sequence determined. The translated sequence revealed that the gene encoded a neurotoxin which was closely related to type B neurotoxin genes from Group I Clostridium botulinum. However among the nucleotide sequence differences, aG to T transition has interrupted the coding sequence with the formation of a stop codon. In addition the deletion of an adenine residue has resulted in a frame-shift mutation.

Analysis of the DNA sequence contiguous with the silent type B neurotoxin gene revealed the presence of a gene encoding a Nontoxic-Nonhaemagglutinin protein which appears to share a bicistronic mRNA transcript with the type B neurotoxin gene. In the reverse orientation, the partial sequence of a gene encoding a haemagglutinin protein was found, typical of type A and B botulinal neurotoxin complexes. Separating the genes encoding the 'components of the neurotoxin complex was a gene of 178 amino acids which possessed features commonly associated with transcriptional factors.

To facilitate the in vivo study of botulinal neurotoxin complex regulation, a gene transfer system using clostridial components has been developed. The minimal replicon of the cryptic plasmid pCB 102 from Clostridium butyricum NCIB 7423 was located to 1.6 kb DNA fragment by deletion analysis, enabling the identification of hitherto undiscovered putative ORFs and secondary structures, consistent with a replicative function. The replicon has been incorporated in to a number of Escherichia coli vectors resulting in a versatile series of shuttle vectors which have demonstrated high structural and segregational stabilities in a heterologous host Clostridium beyerinckii NCI NIB 8052. Gene transfer of a Group I Clostridium botulinum type A strain was demonstrated with a representative pCB 102-derived shuttle vector, pMTL540E.

In addition, a 5.9 kb plasmid indigenous to C. botulimun NCTC 2916 was cloned and the complete nucleotide sequence determined. Eight putative ORFs have been identified, including a putative replication protein and recombinase.

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