Role of de-N-acetylase PgaB from Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans in exopolysaccharide export in biofilm mode of growth

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Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, a Gram-negative bacterium, is the causative agent of localized aggressive periodontitis. Attachment to a biotic surface is a critical first step in the A. actinomycetemcomitans infection process for which exopolysaccharides have been shown to be essential. In addition, the pga operon, containing genes encoding for biosynthetic proteins for poly-N-acetyl glucosamine (PNAG), plays a key role in A. actinomycetemcomitans virulence, as a mutant strain lacking the pga operon induces significantly less bone resorption. Among the genes in the pga operon, pgaB codes for a de-N-acetylase that is responsible for the deacetylation of the PNAG exopolysaccharide. Here we report the role of PgaB in regulation of virulence genes using a markerless, scarless deletion mutant targeting the coding region of the N-terminal catalytic domain of PgaB. The results demonstrate that the N-terminal, catalytic domain of PgaB is crucial for exopolysaccharide export.

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