To establish a recombinant system for high-level expression of biologically active Bacteroides fragilis toxin (BFT), we studied the expression of bft in non-toxigenic B. fragilis (NTBF) strains. The bft gene and the B. fragilis pathogenicity island (BfPAI) were cloned into NTBF strains with two distinct genetic patterns: (i) pattern II, strains lacking the BfPAI and its flanking region; and (ii) pattern III, strains lacking the BfPAI but containing its flanking region. Analysis of BFT activity of these recombinant strains on HT29/C1 cells showed that both the BfPAI and its flanking regions are important to optimal BFT activity. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis indicated that the BfPAI and its flanking regions modulate bft expression. Further experiments demonstrated that the ≈ 700 bp region upstream of bft is the BfPAI region critical for optimal bft expression. We conclude that both the region flanking the BfPAI and ≈ 700 bp region upstream of bft are crucial to maximal BFT production by ETBF strains.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology