Characterization of two genes encoding ferritin-like protein in Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans

Masaru Hirosue, Susumu Kokeguchi, Hiroshi Maeda, Fusanori Nishimura, Shogo Takashiba, Yoji Murayama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Two genes encoding ferritin-like protein, designated afnA and afnB, were identified in the upstream region of actX on the Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans chromosomal DNA. The actX has been reported to be a regulatory gene homologous to the Escherichia coli fnr, which controls the growth and virulence of A. actinomycetemcomitans under anaerobic conditions. The afnB located 340 bp-upstream from the actX, and the afnA located just 15 bp-upstream from afnB. The afnA and afnB encoded 161 and 165 amino acid residues, respectively, which were similar to ferritin-like proteins of other microorganisms. Western immunoblotting using rabbit antiserum against E. coli ferritin showed these two proteins, which are reactive with the serum with 19-kDa molecular masses, are produced from A. actinomycetemcomitans. The N-terminal amino acid sequences of the two proteins were consequent with those deduced from afnA and afnB. Northern hybridization revealed that the afnA and afnB constituted a bicistronic operon and the accumulation of afnA and afnB mRNA was upregulated under aerobic conditions. These findings suggested that the operon was regulated by the presence of oxygen. The two ferritin-like proteins may have important roles in the adaptation of A. actinomycetemcomitans to oxidative environmental changes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)721-727
Number of pages7
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans
  • Ferritin-like protein
  • Oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Virology


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