Tools for the Genetic Manipulation of Fusobacterium Nucleatum
BACKGROUND: Fusobatcerium nucleatum is an anaerobic Gram-negative microorganism that is commonly found in the mouth. For example, Fusobacterium nucleatum is the most frequently isolated pathogen from periodontal disease sites and is believed to be an initiator of periodontal diseases. Moreover, this bacterium is commonly found in abscesses and other infections in the abdomen, blood, chest, lung, sinuses, and female genital tract. Several F. nucleatum proteins that are believed to be associated with F. nucleatum pathogenesis have been identified, but their evaluation has been hampered by a lack of systems for genetic manipulation of this microbe. Therefore, there is a need for reliable gene transfer and expression systems for F. nucleatum.
DESCRIPTION: Researchers at the University of California have developed a battery of tools for use in genetic manipulation of F. nucleatum. These tools include plasmids and vectors that can replicate in Fusobacterium as well as shuttle vectors that can replicate in Fusobacterium and in other microorganisms, such as E. coli. These tools are available for licensing.
ADVANTAGES: These reagents provide, for the first time, tools for genetic manipulation of F. nucleatum.
* Molecular characterization of genes that are associated with the pathogenesis of F. nucleatum.
* Development of compounds that can prevent or treat periodontal diseases or other human infectious diseases caused by F. nucleatum.
* Expression of foreign proteins that may modulate the microbial flora or host immune response in order to prevent or treat periodontal diseases.
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