Transcriptional starts for cytadherence-related operons of Mycoplasma genitalium

FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2003 Dec 5;229(1):73-81. doi: 10.1016/S0378-1097(03)00789-4.


One mechanism of mycoplasma cytadherence possessed by several mycoplasmas, including Mycoplasma genitalium, necessitates coordination of multiple adhesins and adherence-associated proteins. The genes encoding these adherence-related proteins are located in three different regions of the M. genitalium genome and exhibit an operon-like organization with surrounding genes. To understand whether genes encoding adherence-related proteins in M. genitalium are regulated as operons, we performed transcriptional and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analyses on the loci mg191 (encoding major cytadhesin P140 localized at the specialized tip organelle) and mg218 (encoding high molecular mass cytadherence-related protein MG218 required for tip-mediated adherence). Primer extension suggested that transcription of mg191 was under the control of two transcriptional starts, one immediately upstream of mg191 (Prm(MG191)) and the other upstream of mg190 (Prm(MG190)). In contrast, mg218 appeared to be transcribed by a single transcriptional start, located upstream of mg217. RT-PCR indicated that transcription was continuous from mg190 to mg192 and mg217 to mg219, suggesting that these loci constitute true operons. Additional data revealed heretofore undetected similarities between adherence-related operons of M. genitalium and Mycoplasma pneumoniae.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adhesins, Bacterial / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mycoplasma genitalium / genetics*
  • Operon / genetics
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / genetics
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Transcription Initiation Site*
  • Transcriptional Activation / genetics


  • Adhesins, Bacterial