Characterization of apxIVA, a new RTX determinant of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae

Schaller, Alain; Kuhn, Rolf; Kuhnert, Peter; Nicolet, Jacques; Anderson, Timothy J.; MacInnes, Janet I.; Segers, Ruud P. A. M.; Frey, Joachim (1999). Characterization of apxIVA, a new RTX determinant of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae. Microbiology, 145(8), pp. 2105-2116. Reading, UK: Society for General Microbiology 10.1099/13500872-145-8-2105

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A fourth type of RTX determinant was identified in Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae and was designated apxIVA. When expressed in Escherichia coli, recombinant ApxIVA showed a weak haemolytic activity and co-haemolytic synergy with the sphingomyelinase (beta-toxin) of Staphylococcus aureus. These activities required the presence of an additional gene, ORF1, that is located immediately upstream of apxIVA. The apxIVA gene product could not be detected in A. pleuropneumoniae cultures grown under various conditions in vitro; however, pigs experimentally infected with A. pleuropneumoniae serotypes 1, 5 and 7 started to produce antibodies that reacted with recombinant ApxIVA 14 d post-infection, indicating that apxIVA is expressed in vivo. In addition, sera from pigs naturally and experimentally infected with any of the serotypes all reacted with recombinant ApxIVA. The apxIVA gene from the serotype 1 A. pleuropneumoniae type strain Shope 4074T encodes a protein with a predicted molecular mass of 202 kDa which has typical features of RTX proteins including hydrophobic domains in the N-terminal half and 24 glycine-rich nonapeptides in the C-terminal half that bind Ca2+. The glycine-rich nonapeptides are arranged in a modular structure and there is some variability in the number of modules in the ApxIVA proteins of different serotypes of A. pleuropneumoniae. The deduced amino acid sequences of the ApxIVA proteins have significant similarity with the Neisseria meningitidis iron-regulated RTX proteins FrpA and FrpC, and to a much lesser extent with other RTX proteins. The apxIVA gene could be detected in all A. pleuropneumoniae serotypes and seems to be species-specific. Although the precise role of this new RTX determinant in pathogenesis of porcine pleuropneumonia needs to be determined, apxIVA is the first in vivo induced toxin gene that has been described in A. pleuropneumoniae.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Institute of Veterinary Bacteriology

UniBE Contributor:

Kuhnert, Peter and Frey, Joachim


500 Science
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
600 Technology > 630 Agriculture




Society for General Microbiology




Peter Kuhnert-Ryser

Date Deposited:

30 Jan 2014 12:15

Last Modified:

10 Aug 2015 10:03

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

RTX toxin, porcine pleuropneumonia, serology, recombinant protein




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