Eukaryotic cell

Characterization of pneumocystis major surface glycoprotein gene (msg) promoter activity in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

PMID 23893080


Major surface glycoprotein (Msg), the most abundant cell surface protein of Pneumocystis, plays an important role in the interaction of this opportunistic pathogen with host cells, and its potential for antigenic variation may facilitate evasion of host immune responses. In the present study, we have identified and characterized the promoter region of msg in 3 species of Pneumocystis: P. carinii, P. jirovecii, and P. murina. Because Pneumocystis cannot be cultured, promoter activity was measured in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a related fungus, using a yeast vector modified to utilize the gene coding for Renilla luciferase as a reporter gene. The 5'-flanking sequences of msg from all three Pneumocystis species showed considerable promoter activity, with increases in luciferase activity up to 15- to 44-fold above baseline. Progressive deletions helped define an ∼13-bp sequence in each Pneumocystis species that appears to be critical for promoter activity. Electrophoretic mobility shift analysis using P. carinii-specific msg promoter sequences demonstrated binding of nuclear proteins of S. cerevisiae. The 144-bp 5'-flanking region of P. murina msg showed 72% identity to that of P. carinii. The 5'-flanking region of P. jirovecii msg showed 58 and 61% identity to those of P. murina and P. carinii, respectively. The msg promoter is a good candidate for inclusion in a construct designed for genetic manipulation of Pneumocystis species.

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