The genes of the botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT) complex are clustered in a locus consisting of two divergent polycistronic operons, one containing the non-toxic, non-haemagglutinin (NTNH) component and bontA genes, the other containing the haemagglutinin (HA) component genes. The two operons are separated by a gene (botR/A, previously called orf21) encoding a 21 kDa protein. A recombinant Clostridium botulinum A strain that overexpresses botR/A was constructed by electroporating strain 62 with the vector pAT19 containing botR/A under the control of its own promoter. The transformed strain produced more BoNT/A and associated non-toxic proteins (ANTPs) and the corresponding mRNAs than the non-transformed strain. Partial inhibition of botR/A by antisense mRNA resulted in lower levels of BoNT/A, NTNH and HA70 and the levels of the corresponding mRNAs. Gel mobility shift assays and immunoprecipitations showed that BotR/A bound to the DNA promoter region upstream from the two BoNT/A complex operons. These results show that botR/A activated transcription of the genes encoding BoNT/A and ANTPs in C. botulinum A by interacting directly with the region promoter, and that the homologous genes in C. botulinum B, C and D presumably have the same function.
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Document Type: Original Article
Unité des Toxines Microbiennes, Institut Pasteur, 28 rue du Dr Roux, 75724 Paris Cedex 15, France.,
Department of Bacteriology, Okayama University Medical School, Okayama 700, Japan.
August 1, 1998