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ABSTRACT Gene duplications have a major effect on both eukaryotic and prokaryotic microorganisms' gene repertoires. A number of duplicated genes whose function is mainly unknown are present in pathogenic Escherichia coli strains' genomes. The irmA gene is one of the duplicates coding in several pathogenic E. coli strains. The IrmA protein structure mimics that of human interleukin receptors and most likely plays a role in disease. Two functional versions of the irmA gene are found in the enteroaggregative E. coli strain 042 strain 042. Multiple growth conditions are present in the irmA_4509 allele. The irmA_2244 allele only appears when the irmA_4509 allele is knocked out. The expression of the IrmA protein in strain 042 is dictated by the irmA_4509 allele, according to our findings. The irmA_2244 allele appears to play a backup role in case the irmA_4509 allele loses its functionality. IMPORTANCE Gene duplications occur in prokaryotic genomes at a discernible rate. The irmA gene can be available as a single copy or in two or more copies, depending on the pathogenic E. coli isolates. Two functional versions of the irmA gene were found in a different pathogenic E. coli strain, which led to two functional versions of the irmA gene. One of the alleles dictates the IrmA word, while the second remains silent. In some pathogenic E. coli strains, the presence of more than one functional copy of the irmA gene will result in the production of this virulence factor during the infection process.
Source link: https://doi.org/10.1128/spectrum.00454-22
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