Inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase (IMPDH) is an essential enzyme in the biosynthesis of purines. We cloned a group A streptococcal (GAS) DNA fragment containing an open reading frame similar to other bacterial guaB genes encoding IMPDH. The GAS guaB consists of 1479 nucleotides encoding a protein of 493 amino acids. Expression of the GAS guaB in an Escherichia coli guaB mutant restored IMPDH activity, confirming the function of the gene product and demonstrating that the GAS enzyme is active in a heterologous bacterial host. Restriction mapping and Southern hybridization analysis of GAS chromosomal DNA localized guaB to a site approximately 5 kb from the hasA and hasB genes which encode enzymes necessary for hyaluronic acid capsule synthesis. © 1995.
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