DNA sequence and characterization of Haemophilus influenzae dprA+, a gene required for chromosomal but not plasmid DNA transformation.
Natural genetic transformation in Haemophilus influenzae involves DNA binding, uptake, translocation, and recombination. In this study, we cloned and sequenced a 3.8-kbp H. influenzae DNA segment capable of complementing in trans the transformation defect of an H. influenzae strain carrying the tfo-37 mutation. We used subcloning, deletion analysis, and in vivo protein labeling experiments to more precisely define the gene required for efficient DNA transformation on the cloned DNA. A novel gene, which we called dprA+, was shown to encode a 41.6-kDa polypeptide that was required for efficient chromosomal but not plasmid DNA transformation. Analysis of the deduced amino acid sequence of DprA suggested that it may be an inner membrane protein, which is consistent with its apparent role in DNA processing during transformation. Four other open reading frames (ORFs) on the cloned DNA segment were identified. Two ORFs were homologous to the phosphofructokinase A (pfkA) and alpha-isopropyl malate synthase (leuA) genes of Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium, respectively. Homologs for the two other ORFs could not be identified.