Identification and characterization of genes required for post-translational modification of Campylobacter coli VC167 flagellin

Mol Microbiol. 1996 Jan;19(2):369-78. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2958.1996.369895.x.


Two genes have been identified in Campylobacter coli VC167 which are required for the biosynthesis of post-translational modifications on flagellin proteins. The ptmA gene encodes a protein of predicted M(r) 28,486 which shows significant homology to a family of alcohol dehydrogenases from a variety of bacteria. The ptmB gene encodes a protein of predicted M(r) 26,598 with significant homology to CMP-N-acetylneuraminic acid synthetase enzymes involved in sialic acid capsular biosynthesis in Neisseria meninigitidis and Escherichia coli K1. Site-specific mutation of either ptmA or ptmB caused loss of reactivity with antisera specific to the post-translational modifications and a change in the isoelectric focusing fingerprints relative to the parent strains. Mutation of ptmB, but not of ptmA, caused a change in apparent M(r) of the flagellin subunit in SDS-PAGE gels. The ptmA and ptmB genes are present in other strains of Campylobacter. In a rabbit model the ptmA mutant showed a reduced ability to elicit protection against subsequent challenge with heterologous strains of the same Lior serotype compared to the parental wild-type strain. This suggests that the surface-exposed post-translational modifications may play a significant role in the protective immune response.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Base Sequence
  • Campylobacter / genetics
  • Campylobacter coli / genetics*
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Cytidine Monophosphate N-Acetylneuraminic Acid
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Flagellin / metabolism*
  • Genes, Bacterial / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Rabbits
  • Sequence Analysis
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Flagellin
  • Cytidine Monophosphate N-Acetylneuraminic Acid

Associated data

  • GENBANK/U25992