MPB70 is secreted in high concentrations by Mycobacterium bovis BCG substrain Tokyo (BCG Tokyo), but little by substrains Pasteur (BCG Pasteur) and M. tuberculosis. The gene encoding a MPB70 homologue secreted by BCG Tokyo was found at the upstream region of the gene encoding MPB70, with approximately 2.3 kilobase pairs (kbp) spacing: the same gene was also found in BCG Pasteur. This gene was cloned and sequenced from BCG Tokyo. The DNA sequence which contained a 663 base pair (bp) open reading frame beginning at position 1 and ending with a TAA codon at position 661 was found. Its theoretical molecular mass was calculated to be 22.068 kDa. This gene was highly homologous to the coding region of mpb70 and the deduced amino acid sequence was very similar to MPB83 reported by Harboe et al. It was speculated that the gene the authors characterized probably corresponded to the mpb83 gene.
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