Cloning and characterization of putative zinc protease genes of Ehrlichia canis

Ching Hao Teng, Stephen C. Barr, Yung Fu Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A putative zinc protease gene operon from Ehrlichia canis was cloned and sequenced. A genomic library was constructed in a pHG165 plasmid vector using Sau3A partially digested E. canis chromosomal DNA. Sequence analysis of the insert DNA from this clone indicated two open reading frames with a size of 1314 and 1350bp that encodes for ProA and ProB, respectively. Based on BLAST analyses, ProA and ProB share 20-30% identities with members of the eukaryotic mitochondrial processing peptidase (MPP) subfamily, which are heterodimers containing α and β subunits. The subunits share a 20% of identity, but only MPP-β contains a conserved zincbinding motif, His-Xaa-Xaa-Glu-His (HXXEH). proA and proB are also detectable in E. canis and Ehrlichia chaffeensis, but not the Anaplasma phagocytophila. 5′-RACE revealed that the 5′ end of the proA mRNA is heterogeneous, containing additional adenine residues that may be directed by pseudo-templated transcription. Although ProA was identified in both E. canis and E. chaffeensis, ProB was detected only in E. canis. ProA and ProB were both detectable in E. canis-infected DH82 cells. Sera from dogs, which were either naturally or experimentally infected with E. canis, recognized both the recombinant protein antigens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-121
Number of pages13
JournalDNA Sequence - Journal of DNA Sequencing and Mapping
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Apr

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Endocrinology


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