Variability of the Protein Sequences of LcrV Between Epidemic and Atypical Rhamnose-Positive Strains of Yersinia pestis
Sequencing of lcrV genes and comparison of the deduced amino acid sequences from ten Y. pestis strains belonging mostly to the group of atypical rhamnose-positive isolates (non-pestis subspecies or pestoides group) showed that the LcrV proteins analyzed could be classified into five sequence types. This classification was based on major amino acid polymorphisms among LcrV proteins in the four “hot points” of the protein sequences. Some additional minor polymorphisms were found throughout these sequence types. The “hot points” corresponded to amino acids 18 (Lys → Asn), 72 (Lys → Arg), 273 (Cys → Ser), and 324-326 (Ser-Gly-Lys → Arg) in the LcrV sequence of the reference Y. pestis strain CO92. One possible explanation for polymorphism in amino acid sequences of LcrV among different strains is that strain-specific variation resulted from adaptation of the plague pathogen to different rodent and lagomorph hosts.
KeywordsSequence Type Yersinia Enterocolitica Yersinia Pestis Epidemic Strain Pestis Strain
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