The Role of FTL_1229 during Erythrocyte Invasion by Francisella tularensis
AbstractFrancisella tularensis is a gram-negative bacterium that causes the disease, tularemia. Due to the highly infectious nature of F. tularensis, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classified this bacterium as a category A bioterrorism agent. To combat this threat, understanding the pathogenesis of F. tularensis is necessary. The gene FTL_1229 encodes a protein homologous to the ATP binding protein portion of an ABC transporter. This gene is of interest because its expression is induced in the presence of human red blood cells. Furthermore, its homolog in F. novicida has found to be essential for invasion. Therefore, we hypothesized that FTL_1229 may be involved during invasion of these host cells. To determine the significance of this gene, a mutation of FTL_1229 is being constructed. The mutant will then be tested via the Tet-on/off system and by erythrocyte invasion assays. Results from these studies will indicate if FTL_1229 is essential for the pathogenesis of F. tularensis.
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