Journal Article

Identification and Characterization of a Phospholipase D–Superfamily Gene in Rickettsiae

Patricia Renesto, Pierre Dehoux, Edith Gouin, Lhousseine Touqui, Pascale Cossart and Didier Raoult

in The Journal of Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 188, issue 9, pages 1276-1283
Published in print November 2003 | ISSN: 0022-1899
Published online November 2003 | e-ISSN: 1537-6613 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/379080
Identification and Characterization of a Phospholipase D–Superfamily Gene in Rickettsiae

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The completion of the sequencing of the genomes of both Rickettsia conorii and R. prowazekii provides the opportunity to identify putative virulence factors within these strictly intracellular pathogens. A role for a phospholipase A2 (PLA2) in rickettsial pathogenicity was hypothesized, but the corresponding gene has not been identified. We have identified a gene that encodes a putative phospholipase D (PLD) and that has been detected by Southern blotting in 11 analyzed strains of rickettsiae. The recombinant protein is dimeric and has PLD activity, as demonstrated by its capacity to release [3H]-choline from phosphatidyl [3H]-choline. This PLD is present in whole rickettsial lysates and likely is a virulence factor, because incubation of rickettsiae with an anti-PLD antibody reduced their cytotoxic activity against Vero cells. This enzyme might account for the activity previously attributed to PLA2 and might be critical for the intracellular life of these bacteria

Journal Article.  4611 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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