Masignani, V., Giuliani, M. M., Tettelin, H., Comanducci, M., Rappuoli, R., Scarlato, V.
Mu-like Prophage In Serogroup B Neisseria meningitidis Coding for Surface-exposed Antigens
Infect Immun. 2001 Apr 01; 69(4): 2580-8.
Sequence analysis of the genome of Neisseria meningititdis serogroup B revealed the presence of an approximately 35-kb region inserted within a putative gene coding for an ABC-type transporter. The region contains 46 open reading frames, 29 of which are colinear and homologous to the genes of Escherichia coli Mu phage. Two prophages with similar organizations were also found in serogroup A meningococcus, and one was found in Haemophilus influenzae. Early and late phage functions are well preserved in this family of Mu-like prophages. Several regions of atypical nucleotide content were identified. These likely represent genes acquired by horizontal transfer. Three of the acquired genes are shown to code for surface-associated antigens, and the encoded proteins are able to induce bactericidal antibodies.