Adhesins and adhesin-related accessory proteins of pathogenic mycoplasmas are required for cytadherence and the subsequent development of disease pathology. The classic example has been Mycoplasma pneumoniae, which causes primary atypical pneumonia in humans. Mutants of M. pneumoniae defective in adhesins (P1 and P30) or in adherence-accessory proteins (HMW1 through HMW4) are unable to colonize host tissues and are avirulent. Mycoplasma genitalium, implicated in nongonococcal, nonchlamydial urethritis, pneumonia, arthritis, and AIDS progression, was found to encode a 140-kDa adhesin that shared both DNA and protein sequence similarities with P1, a major adhesin of M. pneumoniae. In this report, we show that M. genitalium possesses additional homolog sequences to well-characterized adherence-related genes and proteins of M. pneumoniae. The M. genitalium homologs are designated P32 and P69 and correspond to P30 and HMW3 of M. pneumoniae, respectively (J. B. Baseman, p. 243-259, in S. Rottem and I. Kahane, ed., Subcellular biochemistry, vol. 20. Mycoplasma cell membranes, 1993, and D.C. Krause, D. K. Leith, R. M. Wilson, and J. B. Baseman, Infect. Immun. 35:809-817, 1982). Interestingly, the operon-like organizations of P32 and P69 in the M. genitalium genome are similar to the organizations of P30 and HMW3 genes of M. pneumoniae, suggesting that the conservation of these adherence-related genes and proteins might have occurred through horizontal gene transfer events originating from an ancestral gene family.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology