TcpA pilin sequences and colonization requirements for O1 and O139 vibrio cholerae

Mol Microbiol. 1994 Sep;13(6):1013-20. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.1994.tb00492.x.


The distribution, characterization and function of the tcpA gene was investigated in Vibrio cholerae O1 strains of the El Tor biotype and in a newly emergent non-O1 strain classified as serogroup O139. The V. cholerae tcpA gene from the classical biotype strain O395 was used as a probe to identify a clone carrying the tcpA gene from the El Tor biotype strain E7946. The sequence of the E7946 tcpA gene revealed that the mature El Tor TcpA pilin has the same number of residues as, and is 82% identical to, TcpA of classical biotype strain O395. The majority of differences in primary structure are either conservative or clustered in a manner such that compensatory changes retain regional amino acid size, polarity and charge. In a functional analysis, the cloned gene was used to construct an El Tor mutant strain containing an insertion in tcpA. This strain exhibited a colonization defect in the infant mouse cholera model similar in magnitude to that previously described for classical biotype tcpA mutants, thus establishing an equivalent role for TCP in intestinal colonization by El Tor biotype strains. The tcpA analysis was further extended to both a prototype El Tor strain from the Peru epidemic and to the first non-O1 strain known to cause epidemic cholera, an O139 V. cholerae isolate from the current widespread Asian epidemic. These strains were shown to carry tcpA with a sequence identical to E7946. These results provide further evidence that the newly emergent non-O1 serogroup O139 strain represents a derivative of an El Tor biotype strain and, despite its different LPS structure, shares common TCP-associated antigens.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Asia / epidemiology
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / genetics*
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / physiology
  • Base Sequence
  • Cholera / epidemiology
  • Cholera / microbiology
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Fimbriae Proteins
  • Fimbriae, Bacterial / physiology*
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Peru / epidemiology
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Serotyping
  • Vibrio cholerae / classification
  • Vibrio cholerae / genetics*
  • Vibrio cholerae / pathogenicity


  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • TcpA protein, Vibrio cholerae
  • Fimbriae Proteins

Associated data

  • GENBANK/U09807