Identification of a novel botulinum neurotoxin gene cluster in Enterococcus

Jason Brunt, Andrew T. Carter, Sandra C Stringer, Michael W. Peck

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The deadly neurotoxins of Clostridium botulinum (BoNTs) comprise eight serotypes (A–G; X). The neurotoxin gene cluster encoding BoNT and its accessory proteins includes an operon containing an ntnh gene upstream of the boNT gene. Another operon contains either ha (haemagglutinin) or orfX genes (of unknown function). Here we describe a novel boNT gene cluster from Enterococcus sp. 3G1_DIV0629, with a typical ntnh gene and an uncommon orfX arrangement. The neurotoxin (designated putative eBoNT/J) contains a metallopeptidase zinc-binding site, a translocation domain and a target cell attachment domain. Structural properties of the latter suggest a novel targeting mechanism with consequent implications for application by the pharmaceutical industry. This is the first complete boNT gene cluster identified in a non-clostridial genome.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)310–317
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number3
Early online date23 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018


  • botulinum neurotoxin
  • Clostridium
  • eBoNT/J
  • Enterococcus

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