A 26‐mer oligonucleotide probe was synthesized (based on the determined amino acid sequence of the N‐terminus of the Clostridium botulinum type A neurotoxin, BoNT/A) and used in Southern blot analysis to construct a restriction map of the region of the clostridial genome encompassing BoNT/A. The detailed information obtained enabled the cloning of the structural gene as three distinct fragments, none of which were capable of directing the expression of a toxic molecule. The central portion was cloned as a 2‐kb PvuII‐TaqI fragment and the remaining regions of the light chain and heavy chain as a 2.4‐kb ScaI‐TaqI fragment and a 3.4kb HpaI‐PvuII fragment, respectively. The nucleotide sequence of all three fragments was determined and an open reading frame identified, composed of 1296 codons corresponding to a polypeptide of 149 502 Da. The deduced amino acid sequence exhibited 33% similarity to tetanus toxin, with the most highly conserved regions occurring between the N‐termini of the respective heavy chains. Conservation of Cys residues flanking the position at which the toxins are cleaved to yield the heavy chain and light chain allowed the tentative identification of those residues which probably form the disulphide bridges linking the two toxin subfragments.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||European Journal of Biochemistry|
|Publication status||Published - Apr 1990|