Isolation and expression of the lysis genes of Actinomyces naeslundii phage Av-1

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2006 Feb;72(2):1110-7. doi: 10.1128/AEM.72.2.1110-1117.2006.


Like most gram-positive oral bacteria, Actinomyces naeslundii is resistant to salivary lysozyme and to most other lytic enzymes. We are interested in studying the lysins of phages of this important oral bacterium as potential diagnostic and therapeutic agents. To identify the Actinomyces phage genes encoding these species-specific enzymes in Escherichia coli, we constructed a new cloning vector, pAD330, that can be used to enrich for and isolate phage holin genes, which are located adjacent to the lysin genes in most phage genomes. Cloned holin insert sequences were used to design sequencing primers to identify nearby lysin genes by using whole phage DNA as the template. From partial digestions of A. naeslundii phage Av-1 genomic DNA we were able to clone, in independent experiments, inserts that complemented the defective lambda holin in pAD330, as evidenced by extensive lysis after thermal induction. The DNA sequence of the inserts in these plasmids revealed that both contained the complete lysis region of Av-1, which is comprised of two holin-like genes, designated holA and holB, and an endolysin gene, designated lysA. We were able to subclone and express these genes and determine some of the functional properties of their gene products.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Actinomyces / virology*
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Bacteriolysis / genetics
  • Bacteriophages / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA, Viral / genetics
  • Genes, Viral*
  • Genetic Complementation Test
  • Genetic Vectors
  • Genome, Viral
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plasmids / genetics
  • Viral Proteins / genetics


  • DNA, Viral
  • Viral Proteins

Associated data

  • GENBANK/DQ123818