A novel locus of Yersinia enterocolitica serotype O:3 involved in lipopolysaccharide outer core biosynthesis

Mol Microbiol. 1995 Aug;17(3):575-94. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.1995.mmi_17030575.x.


Yersinia enterocolitica serotype O:3 strain 6471/76-c (YeO3-c) was sensitive to bacteriophage phi R1-37 when grown at 37 degrees C but not when grown at 22 degrees C because of steric hindrance by abundant lipopolysaccharide (LPS) O-side chain (O-antigen) expressed at 22 degrees C. The transposon library of YeO3-c was grown at 37 degrees C and screened for phage phi R1-37-resistant transposon insertion mutants. Three types of mutant were isolated: (i) phage receptor mutants expressing O-antigen (LPS-smooth), (ii) phage receptor mutants not expressing O-antigen (LPS-rough), and (iii) LPS-smooth mutants with the phage receptor constitutively sterically blocked. Mutant type (i) was characterized in detail; the transposon insertion inactivates an operon, named the trs operon. The main findings based on this mutant are: (i) the frs operon is involved in the biosynthesis of the LPS outer core in YeO3-c; the nucleotide sequence of the trs operon revealed eight novel genes showing similarly to known polysaccharide biosynthetic genes of various Gram-negative bacteria as well as to capsule biosynthesis genes of Staphylococcus aureus; (ii) the biosynthesis of the core of YeO3-c involves at least two genetic loci; (iii) the trs operon is required for the biosynthesis of the bacteriophage phi R1-37 receptor structures; (iv) the homopolymeric O-antigen of YeO3-c is ligated to the inner core in Y. enterocolitica O:3; (v) the trs operon is located between the adk-hemH and galE-gsk gene pairs in the Y. enterocolitica chromosome; and (vi) the phage phi R1-37 receptor is present in many but not in all Y. enterocolitica serotypes. The results also allow us to speculate that the trs operon is a relic of the ancestral rfb region of Y. enterocolitica O:3 carrying genes indispensable for the completion of the core polysaccharide biosynthesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacteriophages / genetics
  • Bacteriophages / isolation & purification
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Genes, Bacterial*
  • Genetic Complementation Test
  • Lipopolysaccharides / biosynthesis*
  • Lipopolysaccharides / chemistry
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Molecular Structure
  • Mutation
  • Operon
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Serotyping
  • Yersinia enterocolitica / classification
  • Yersinia enterocolitica / genetics*
  • Yersinia enterocolitica / metabolism*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Lipopolysaccharides

Associated data

  • GENBANK/B42476
  • GENBANK/D90259
  • GENBANK/L01777
  • GENBANK/L07293
  • GENBANK/L08012
  • GENBANK/L20758
  • GENBANK/M31722
  • GENBANK/M65054
  • GENBANK/M94855
  • GENBANK/P14020
  • GENBANK/P24151
  • GENBANK/Q07755
  • GENBANK/U00039
  • GENBANK/U03041
  • GENBANK/U09876
  • GENBANK/U14554
  • GENBANK/X01649
  • GENBANK/X03038
  • GENBANK/X06690
  • GENBANK/X56793
  • GENBANK/X57315
  • GENBANK/X63827
  • GENBANK/X71970
  • GENBANK/X73124
  • GENBANK/X77573
  • GENBANK/X77921
  • GENBANK/Z18920
  • GENBANK/Z22636
  • GENBANK/Z37516
  • GENBANK/Z47767