Proteins essential for expression of the Hms+ phenotype of Yersinia pestis

Mol Microbiol. 1993 May;8(5):857-64. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.1993.tb01632.x.


One characteristic of pigmented (Pgm+) cells of Yersinia pestis is the adsorption of sufficient quantities of exogenous haemin during growth at 26 degrees C to form dark-brown colonies. Carriage of the cloned haemin-storage (hms) locus in pHMS1 restores this phenotype to spontaneous Pgm- chromosomal deletion mutants of Y. pestis. We have mapped the location of the structural genes for four proteins encoded on pHMS1 using minicell, in vitro transcription/translation, and complementation analysis. The hmsH and hmsF genes encode 90 kDa and 72 kDa protein precursors processed to surface-exposed, outer membrane proteins of 86 kDa and 70 kDa, respectively. Beta-galactosidase positive MudII1734 insertions in hmsR suggest that it encodes a protein that is also essential for haemin storage. Finally, the structural gene for a 41 kDa protein lies distal to the hmsH gene but, unlike hmsH, hmsF, and hmsR, its expression is not essential for the Hms+ phenotype in Y. pestis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosomes, Bacterial
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Two-Dimensional
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial*
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Genetic Complementation Test
  • Hemin / metabolism*
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Molecular Weight
  • Mutagenesis, Insertional
  • Phenotype
  • Protein Precursors / genetics
  • Protein Precursors / metabolism*
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Yersinia pestis / genetics
  • Yersinia pestis / metabolism*


  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • HmsF protein, Yersinia pestis
  • HmsH protein, Yersinia pestis
  • HmsR protein, Yersinia pestis
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Protein Precursors
  • Hemin