A cosmid gene bank of Vibrio cholerae 395, classical Ogawa, was screened in Escherichia coli HB101 for expression of the vibrio neuraminidase (NANase) gene nanH (N-acylneuraminate glycohydrolase). Positive clones were identified by their ability to cleave the fluorogenic NANase substrate 2'-(4-methylumbelliferyl)-α-D-N-acetylneuraminic acid. Seven NANase-positive clones were detected after screening 683 cosmid isolates with a rapid, qualitative plate assay method. The nanH gene was subcloned from one of the cosmids and was located within a 4.8-kilobase-pair BglII restriction endonuclease fragment. Evidence that nanH was the NANase structural gene was obtained by transposon mutagenesis and by purification and comparison of the cloned gene product with the secreted NANase purified from the parent V. cholerae strain. The sequence of the first 20 amino-terminal amino acids of the secreted NANase purified from V. cholerae was determined by automated Edman degradation and matched perfectly with the amino acid sequence predicted from nucleotide sequencing of nanH. The sequence data also revealed the existence of a potential signal peptide that was apparently processed from NANase in both V. cholerae and E. coli. In contrast to V. cholerae, E. coli nanH+ clones did not secrete NANase into the growth medium, retaining most of the enzyme in the periplasmic compartment. Kinetic studies in V. cholerae showed that nanH expression and NANase secretion were temporally correlated as cells in batch culture entered late-exponential-phase growth. Similar kinetics were observed in at least one of the E. coli nanH+ clones, suggesting that nanH expression in E. coli might be controlled by some of the same signals as in the parent V. cholerae strain.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology