The insert of a lambda gt11 clone expressing gonococcal protein III was sequenced. The deduced amino acid sequence showed a coding frame of 236 amino acids with a typical 22-amino-acid signal peptide, followed by the known NH2-terminal sequence of PIII. The mature protein has a molecular weight of 23,298. It was found that PIII had extensive and very striking homology to the carboxy-terminal portion of enterobacterial OmpA proteins. The homology encompasses the OmpA domain that is believed to be located in the periplasmic space. If the disposition of PIII across the OM is analogous, then the surface-exposed domain consists of less than 40 amino acids. These include a potential 15-amino-acid disulfide loop, a feature not found in OmpA proteins. Hybridization studies with the sequenced insert indicated that it contained a repetitive sequence that occurred at least 20 times in the genome. By additional hybridization studies the area containing the repetitive sequence was narrowed to a region of 43 bp. This region contained an exact copy of the consensus sequence of a 26-bp repetitive sequence recently described. An analogous sequence recurs in an inverted orientation 53 bp downstream.

This content is only available as a PDF.