Preparation and characterization of Neisseria meningitidis mutants deficient in production of the human lactoferrin-binding proteins LbpA and LbpB

Robert A. Bonnah, Anthony B. Schryvers

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Pathogenic members of the family Neisseriaceae produce specific receptors facilitating iron acquisition from transferrin (Tf) and lactoferrin (Lf) of their mammalian host. Tf receptors are composed of two outer membrane proteins, Tf-binding proteins A and B (TbpA and TbpB; formerly designated Tbp1 and Tbp2, respectively). Although only a single Lf-binding protein, LbpA (formerly designated Lbp1), had previously been recognized, we recently identified additional bacterial Lf-binding proteins in the human pathogens Neisseria meningitidis and Moraxella catarrhalis and the bovine pathogen Moraxella bovis by a modified affinity isolation technique (R. A. Bonnah, R.- H. Yu, and A. B. Schryvers, Microb. Pathog. 19:285-297, 1995). In this report, we characterize an open reading frame (ORF) located immediately upstream of the N. meningitidis B16B6 lbpA gene. Amino acid sequence comparisons of various TbpBs with the product of the translated DNA sequence from the upstream ORF suggests that the region encodes the Lf-binding protein B homolog (LbpB). The LbpB from strain B16B6 has two large stretches of negatively charged amino acids that are not present in the various transferrin receptor homologs (TbpBs). Expression of the recombinant LbpB protein as a fusion with maltose binding protein demonstrated functional Lf- binding activity. Studies with N. meningitidis isogenic mutants in which the lbpA gene and the ORF immediately upstream of lbpA (putative lbpB gene) were insertionally inactivated demonstrated that LbpA, but not LbpB, is essential for iron acquisition from Lf in vitro.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3080-3090
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 1 1998


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology

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