Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv and the attenuated strain H37Ra were used as a model to investigate the virulence properties of M. tuberculosis at the genetic level. To test whether transposition of the insertion element IS6110 might be involved in the loss of virulence of strain H37Ra, the nucleotide sequence of a differential IS6110-positive restriction fragment detected in strain H37Ra, but not in strain H37Rv, was determined. The region flanking the 3' end of the IS6110 element showed partial sequence homology with internal sequences of M. tuberculosis H37Rv genes plcA, plcB and plcC, each one coding for phospholipase C, a well-known bacterial virulence factor. A 100% homology was found between the IS6110-flanking region and an internal sequence of M. bovis plcD, a further phospholipase C gene that is truncated and partly lost in strain H37Rv in the so-called RvD2 deletion. This result indicates that the differential restriction fragment of strain H37Ra originally stems from the plcD gene interrupted by the insertion of the IS6110 element. The occurrence of the RvD2 deletion was then investigated in 45 clinical isolates of M. tuberculosis by Southern blot. The deletion was demonstrated in 15 isolates; the entire RvD2 region (including the undisrupted plcD gene) was detected in 29 isolates, whereas only one isolate showed the RvD2 region in which the plcD gene was interrupted by an IS6110 insertion. It is concluded that disruption of the plcD gene and deletion of the RvD2 region by IS6110 insertion have no consequence for the virulence of M. tuberculosis, although the role of phospholipase C as a virulence factor of M. tuberculosis remains debatable.
|Autori:||LARI N.; RINDI L.; GARZELLI C|
|Titolo:||Identification of one insertion site of IS6110 in Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Ra and analysis of the RvD2 deletion in M. tuberculosis clinical isolates|
|Anno del prodotto:||2001|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|