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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2003

CNE, a collagen-binding protein of Streptococcus equi

Lannergard J, Frykberg L, Guss B


Streptococcus equi subspecies equi is an important horse pathogenic bacterium causing a serious disease called strangles. Using bioinformatics we identified a gene denoted cne (gene encoding collagen-binding protein from S. equi) coding for a novel potential virulence factor of this species called protein CNE. The protein is composed of 657 amino acids and has the typical features found in cell surface-anchored proteins in Gram-positive bacteria. CNE displays amino acid sequence similarities to the previously well-studied collagen-binding protein CNA from Staphylococcus aureus, a proven virulence factor in septic arthritis. Based on similarity to CNA the structure of the mature CNE protein can be divided into an N-terminal A domain and a C-terminal B domain. The highest similarity between CNA and CNE is found in the A domains. The A domain in CNA is known to be the collagen-binding domain. Two parts of cne were amplified using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and ligated into an expression vector, and recombinant CNE proteins were produced in Escherichia coli. The purified CNE proteins were shown to display collagen-binding activity in a Western ligand blot and to inhibit collagen binding to cells of subsp. equi and to CNE-coated microtitre wells. Furthermore, the A domain of CNE was sufficient for binding collagen, and was shown to compete for the same site on collagen as CNA in inhibition studies. Using PCR, the cne gene was detected in all studied strains of subsp. equi and S. equi subsp. zooepidemicus. (C) 2003 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Published in

FEMS Microbiology Letters
2003, volume: 222, number: 1, pages: 69-74

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Microbiology
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Microbiology
LannergÄrd, Jonas
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Microbiology

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