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Immunological Characterization of Proteins Expressed by Genes Located in Mycobacterium tuberculosis-Specific Genomic Regions Encoding the ESAT6-like Proteins

Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University, Safat 13110, Kuwait
Vaccines 2021, 9(1), 27;
Submission received: 28 November 2020 / Revised: 23 December 2020 / Accepted: 4 January 2021 / Published: 7 January 2021


The 6 kDa early secreted antigen target (ESAT6) is a low molecular weight and highly immunogenic protein of Mycobacterium tuberculosis with relevance in the diagnosis of tuberculosis and subunit vaccine development. The gene encoding the ESAT6 protein is located in the M. tuberculosis-specific genomic region known as the region of difference (RD)1. There are 11 M. tuberculosis-specific RDs absent in all of the vaccine strains of BCG, and three of them (RD1, RD7, and RD9) encode immunodominant proteins. Each of these RDs has genes for a pair of ESAT6-like proteins. The immunological characterizations of all the possible proteins encoded by genes in RD1, RD7 and RD9 have shown that, besides ESAT-6 like proteins, several other proteins are major antigens useful for the development of subunit vaccines to substitute or supplement BCG. Furthermore, some of these proteins may replace the purified protein derivative of M. tuberculosis in the specific diagnosis of tuberculosis by using interferon-gamma release assays and/or tuberculin-type skin tests. At least three subunit vaccine candidates containing ESAT6-like proteins as antigen components of multimeric proteins have shown efficacy in phase 1 and phase II clinical trials in humans.

1. Introduction

Using the Bacillus Calmette Guerin (BCG) vaccine against tuberculosis (TB) has shown variable protective efficacy in different parts of the world [1,2,3,4,5]. In particular, BCG vaccination does not protect against pulmonary tuberculosis in adults [6,7,8,9,10,11], which is the major manifestation of the disease in humans as 85% of TB patients have pulmonary disease [12,13,14]. Since BCG has antigens cross-reactive with Mycobacterium tuberculosis and the non-tuberculous environmental mycobacteria, the low efficacy or the lack of protection by BCG vaccination is suggested to be due to masking and/or blocking effects [15,16,17,18]. According to the masking hypothesis, an early sensitization with environmental mycobacteria provides some degree of protection against TB that masks the effect of the BCG vaccine due to the presence of cross-reactive antigens [19,20]. Furthermore, the immune responses induced by cross-reactive antigens due to exposure to environmental mycobacteria lead to an early clearance of antigens in the BCG vaccine, which prevents an effective immune response from being generated, rendering it a failure, and hence causing a blocking effect [21,22,23,24]. The use of M. tuberculosis-specific antigens as subunit vaccines is expected to overcome the problems of blocking or masking effects [25,26,27,28].
BCG vaccination also faces a problem in the diagnosis of TB by using the widely used antigenic preparation of M. tuberculosis known as the purified protein derivative (PPD), in the tuberculin skin test, due to the presence of the cross-reactive antigens [28,29,30,31,32,33,34]. It is expected that M. tuberculosis-specific antigens may overcome the problem of diagnostic inaccuracy associated with the use of PPD in BCG-vaccinated people [35,36,37,38,39,40]. Hence, studies have been conducted to identify M. tuberculosis-specific antigens with vaccine and diagnostic potentials [41,42,43,44,45,46,47].
An M. tuberculosis-specific antigen was identified for the first time from the short-term culture filtrates of M. tuberculosis and was designated as the early secreted antigenic target of molecular mass 6 kDa (ESAT6) [48]. Immunological studies with ESAT6, biochemically purified from the short-term culture filtrates of M. tuberculosis, showed that it was a major antigen of M. tuberculosis recognized by T cells from mice infected with M. tuberculosis [49]. These results were further confirmed by using the recombinant antigen and synthetic peptides of ESAT6 [50,51,52,53,54,55,56]. ESAT6 also had epitopes recognized by B cells and antibodies [57]. Studies using overlapping synthetic peptides covering the entire sequence of ESAT6 also identified it as a major T cell antigen [58,59,60,61]. The results further showed that ESAT6 contained multiple T cell epitopes [62,63,64], which were recognized by T cells in association with several human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class II molecules that are frequently expressed in humans living in different countries and geographical locations [65,66]. These results suggested that ESAT6 could be a universally useful antigen in a subunit vaccine development and/or in diagnostic applications, and its use will not be limited due to variations in the expression of HLA molecules in different population groups [65]. Further studies confirmed the potential of ESAT6 for the specific diagnosis of TB [67,68,69,70], and its potential in the development of new subunit vaccines, either alone or in combination with other cross-reactive antigens [71,72,73,74,75].
To identify additional M. tuberculosis antigens and genomic regions, a subtractive genome hybridization approach was used by Mahairas et al. [76]. They identified three regions of differences (RDs), i.e., RD1, RD2, and RD3 between M. tuberculosis and BCG, and predicted genes in these regions for encoding 11 proteins from RD1, 13 proteins from RD2, and 12 proteins from RD3 [76]. Further analysis showed that RD1 and RD3 were absent in all BCG strains, whereas RD2 was absent from some BCG strains but present in others [76]. However, RD3 was also absent from most clinical isolates of M. tuberculosis [76]. Hence the antigens encoded by RD3 will not have any value in the vaccine or diagnostic applications. Among the proteins encoded by RD2, MPT64 (Rv1980c) has been identified as a dominant antigen having multiple epitopes and being presented to T cells in association with several HLA class II molecules [77,78,79,80,81]. Furthermore, MPT64 has been shown to have vaccine potential in animals either alone [82], or in combination with other M. tuberculosis antigens [83,84,85,86], However, MPT64 may not be useful in the specific diagnosis of TB because several BCG strains used for vaccination of people in different parts of the world express this antigen [87,88].
The proteins encoded by RD1 are considered more promising in vaccine applications because this region is present in all clinical M. tuberculosis isolates [89,90,91,92]. Furthermore, RD1 is absent in all sub-strains of BCG [93,94,95,96] because of its deletion during the attenuation of the parent BCG strain obtained by prolonged sub-culturing of pathogenic M. bovis in an artificial medium [97], and hence the application of RD1-encoded immunodominant antigens in the diagnosis of TB is not expected to have any effect due to BCG vaccination [98,99,100,101]. Interestingly, the ESAT6 gene is located in RD1, and the gene for another low molecular weight and immunodominant protein, known as the 10 kDa culture filtrate protein (CFP10), is also present in the RD1 region [102]. The genes for ESAT6 and CFP10 are located in close proximity in M. tuberculosis genome (Figure 1), and the two proteins are secreted as dimers [103]. Both of these proteins require the ESAT6 (ESX)-1 secretion system in order to be transported out of bacterial cells as dimers [104,105,106].
The availability of the complete genome sequence of M. tuberculosis [107] and its comparison with BCG identified a total of 10 RDs, other than RD1 (Table 1), which are deleted in all strains of BCG that are being used for vaccination against TB in different parts of the world [108,109].
The experiments with the peptide pools of proteins encoded by all M. tuberculosis-specific RDs for determination of immunological reactivity showed that RD1, RD7, and RD9 contained the immunodominant antigens recognized by T cells from TB patients [110,111,112,113,114,115]. Further analysis of individual proteins encoded by genes present in RD1, RD7, and RD9 identified several major protein antigens of M. tuberculosis [116,117,118,119]. In this review, all the individual proteins encoded by the genes present in RD1, RD7, and RD9 have been identified and analyzed for their putative roles, including their immunological applications in the diagnosis of TB and vaccine developments.

2. RD1 Genes and Encoded Proteins

The RD1 region contains the genes for EsxA (ESAT6) and EsxB (CFP10) along with 11 other M. tuberculosis-specific genes predicted by Robertson and Thole corresponding to the open reading frames (ORFs) known as ORF2 to ORF14 [120], seven genes predicted by Mahairas et al. and designated as ORF1A to ORF1K [76], and nine genes predicted by Cole et al. and designated as Rv3871 to Rv3879 in M. tuberculosis H37Rv genome [107] (Table 2).
The analysis of ORF genes for expression at mRNA and/or protein levels showed that at least 12/13 of them were expressed in M. tuberculosis [121,122,123,124,125,126]. In addition to ESAT6 (EsxA) and CFP10 (EsxB), Rv3871, PE35, PPE68, Rv3878, and Rv3879c have also been identified as major T cell antigens [127,128,129,130,131,132,133,134,135,136,137,138,139,140]. Concerning the functions, EsxA and EsxB are associated with deactivation of macrophage and dendritic cell functions and are involved in the virulence of M. tuberculosis [141,142,143,144,145]. Among the RD1 proteins, Rv3871, Rv3872 (PE35), Rv3873 (PPE68), ESAT6 (EsxA), CFP10 (EsxB) and Rv3879c have been suggested for use in the diagnosis of TB using T cell assays [146,147,148,149]. In fact, commercial tests developed to diagnose TB using interferon-gamma release assays include a cocktail of antigens including ESAT6 and CFP10 [150,151,152,153,154]. Furthermore, several RD1 antigens, i.e., ESAT6, CFP10, Rv3871, Rv3872 (PE35), Rv3873 (PPE68), Rv3872, Rv3876 Rv3879, and ORF14 have also been suggested for use in antibody assays for the specific diagnosis of TB [155,156,157,158,159,160,161,162,163]. Moreover, RD1 antigens have also been tested in tuberculin type response with encouraging results [164,165,166,167,168,169,170,171].
In addition to the role of the whole RD1 genomic segment in protective immunity [172,173], the evaluations of individual RD1 proteins for vaccine development in animals have shown the potential of PE35, PPE68, ESAT6, and CFP10 in the development of new subunit vaccines for TB [174,175,176,177,178,179,180,181]. Animal experiments with recombinant (r)BCG strains expressing RD1 antigens have shown the induction of protective type immune responses and protected the immunized animals after challenges with M. tuberculosis [182,183,184,185,186]. Furthermore, a rBCG vaccine candidate containing Ag85B, ESAT6, and CFP10 (GamTBvac) showed a strong protective effect as a BCG booster vaccine in mice and guinea pigs [187]. Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials with GamTBvac have been conducted. In both types of clinical trials, the results after vaccination with GamTBvac showed that the vaccine had an acceptable safety profile and induced markers of protective immunity, i.e., antigen-specific interferon gamma release, Th1 cytokine-expressing CD4+ T cells, and IgG responses [188,189]. These results support further clinical evaluation of GamTBvac in Phase 3 trials to evaluate its efficacy in protecting against infection with M. tuberculosis and the development of the clinical disease.
Two other subunit vaccine candidates which have undergone clinical trials in humans are H1:IC31 and H56:IC31 [190,191]. The subunit vaccine H1:IC31 contains a fusion of Ag85B and ESAT6 and is given along with the adjuvant IC31 [192,193]. H56:IC31 contains the RD1 antigen ESAT6 and two other M. tuberculosis proteins, Ag85B and Rv2660c, as a fusion protein, and it is used for immunization along with the adjuvant IC31 [193]. Both Ag85B and Rv2660c are major antigens of M. tuberculosis and are cross-reactive with BCG and other mycobacteria [194,195,196]. The subunit vaccines H1:IC31 and H56:IC31 have induced protective type cellular immune responses in animals and protected them upon being challenged with the virulent M. tuberculosis [193,197,198].
Humans vaccinated with H1:IC31 vaccine did not show local or systemic adverse effects except transient soreness at the injection site, but there was induction of strong antigen-specific T cell responses, which persisted through 30 months of follow-up. This indicated the activation of a substantial memory response in the vaccinated subjects [199]. The H1:IC31 vaccine was also safe and well tolerated in HIV-infected adults with a CD4+ lymphocyte count greater than 350 cells/mm3 and induced a specific and long-lasting Th1 immune response [200]. The H1:IC31 vaccine was further tested in a phase 1, open-label trial in people living in a TB-endemic area. Healthy male participants aged 18–25 years were recruited into four groups. Participants in group 1 and group 2 were Tuberculin Skin Test (TST) negative and QuantiFERON-TB Gold in-tube test (QFT) negative (Mtb-naïve groups), participants in group 3 were TST positive and QFT negative (BCG group), and participants in group 4 were both TST and QFT positive (Mtb-infected group). The results showed that the vaccine was safe and generally well tolerated [201]. Immunogenicity assays showed a stronger response to TB antigens in the Mtb-naïve group [201]. H1:Ic31 has also undergone a phase 2 clinical trial in 240 healthy adolescents in South Africa including both M. tuberculosis-infected and non-infected subjects [202]. No noticeable safety events were observed in any group irrespective of the doses or vaccination schedule used [202]. Furthermore, the vaccine induced antigen-specific CD4+ T cell responses of protective phenotype in both the groups [202].
A double blind, placebo-controlled, dose selection trail in humans for dose optimization of H56:Ic31 in a tuberculosis-endemic population showed that two or three vaccinations at the lowest dose induced long-lasting antigen-specific CD4 T cell responses with acceptable safety profiles in both naïve and M. tuberculosis-infected subjects [203]. A phase 1b randomized study with the H56:IC31 vaccine showed that the vaccine had acceptable safety profiles in M. tuberculosis-uninfected adults and induced immunizing antigen-specific cellular and humoral immune responses [204]. This vaccine candidate is now being tested in phase 2a clinical trials, and recruitment has started for the phase 2b clinical trial [190].

3. RD7 Genes and Encoded Proteins

The M. tuberculosis-specific genomic region RD7 contains eight ORFs, and an equal number of genes are annotated in the M. tuberculosis H37Rv genome [205] (Table 3).
In human studies with TB patients, the mixture of peptides corresponding to all eight proteins showed that RD7 contains immunodominant antigens stimulating the immune response with a Th1-bias [110,111,114]. Two of the proteins encoded by genes in RD7 belong to the ESAT6 family and are known as EsxO (Rv2346c) and EsxP (Rv2347c) (Table 3). In tuberculin positive reactor cattle, EsxO (Rv2346c) and EsxP (Rv2347c) induced significant IFN-γ responses in vitro [206]. Further experiments with respect to the diagnostic value of ESAT6-like proteins showed that 57% TB reactor cattle responded to EsxO (Rv2346c) peptides in IFN-γ assays, without inducing positive responses in any of the BCG-vaccinated animals [207]. By using human T cell clones and a synthetic peptide library consisting of 15-mers overlapping by 11 aa, Lewinsohn et al. have shown that Rv2347c is an antigen capable of stimulating IFN-γ secreting CD8+ T cells [208]. In mice, immunizations with EsxO (Rv2346c) and EsxP (Rv2347c) using different delivery systems, i.e., chemical adjuvants, mycobacteria and naked plasmids, showed that both of these antigens induced protective Th1 responses but none of them induced pathologic Th2, Th17 and T regulatory cell responses [209]. However, none of these antigens have been tested in the diagnosis of TB in humans or in vaccine development.

4. RD9 Genes and Encoded Proteins

The M. tuberculosis-specific genomic region of RD9 contains seven ORFs and all of them are annotated as genes in the M. tuberculosis H37Rv genome [205] (Table 4).
The immunological evaluation of RD9 proteins using synthetic peptides showed that this region also encodes immunodominant proteins [110,111,114]. Among the RD9 proteins are included two ESAT6 family proteins, i.e., Rv3619c (EsxV) and Rv3620c (EsxW) (Table 4). Molecular modeling and docking studies predicted that the structure of Rv3619c-Rv3620c was similar to that of ESAT6-CFP10 [210]. Immunization with Rv3619c and/or Rv3620c proteins, either alone or in combination with other M. tuberculosis proteins, induced antigen-specific humoral and cellular immune responses in mice [174,175,210,211]. Immunizations of mice with Rv3619c protected against a challenge with M. tuberculosis [212], and allergic asthma [213].
A multiprotein vaccine candidate, ID93, containing Rv2608, Rv3619c, Rv3620c, and Rv1813 M. tuberculosis antigens, combined with synthetic toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) agonist glucopyranosyl lipid adjuvant (GLA) in a stable nano-emulsion (SE) has been developed and is known as ID93/GLA-SE [214]. Immunization of mice with ID93/GLA-SE did not induce sensitivity to the proteins present in PPD, hence it may not compromise the diagnostic efficacy of PPD in the diagnosis of TB [215]. In contrast, positive delayed-type hypersensitivity reactions to ID93 and its components were induced in ID93/GLA-SE-immunized animals, which indicated the induction of strong but specific cellular immune responses in the immunized animals [215].
Furthermore, immunizations with ID93/GLA-SE protected animals upon challenge with a clinical isolate of M. tuberculosis as well as the hyper-virulent Korean Beijing strain K of M. tuberculosis and induced long-lived immunity in mice [216,217]. Moreover, therapeutic immunizations with ID93/GLA-SE induced differential T cell immune responses over the course of infection that correlated with periods of enhanced bacterial control over that of drug treatment alone in mice [218]. In a BCG-prime boost regimen, the ID93/GLA-SE vaccine significantly reduced bacterial load at 16 weeks after challenge with the hyper-virulent Beijing strain of M. tuberculosis, while the BCG vaccine alone did not confer significant protection [219].
A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 1 clinical trial with the ID93/GLA-SE vaccine has been conducted in HIV-negative and previously BCG-vaccinated adults in South Africa. The participants included M. tuberculosis infected and non-infected healthy subjects. The results using varying doses of the vaccine showed that it was well-tolerated and no severe or serious vaccine-related adverse events were observed [220]. Furthermore, different doses of the vaccine did not affect the frequency or severity of adverse events, but mild injection site adverse events and flu-like symptoms were common in M tuberculosis-infected group compared to non-infected group. Vaccination induced long-lasting antigen-specific IgG and T helper-1 type cellular immune responses, which peaked after administration of two doses of the vaccine [220]. The variations in the vaccine dose did not significantly affect the magnitude, kinetics, or profile of antibody and cellular immune responses [220]. When compared with vaccination with ID93 alone, vaccination with ID93 + GLA-SE induced higher titers of ID93-specific antibodies, a preferential increase in IgG1 and IgG3 antibody subclasses, and a multifaceted Fc-mediated effector function response [220]. The ID93/GLA-SE vaccine enhanced the magnitude and polyfunctional cytokine profile of CD4+ T cells, as compared to ID93 alone [221]. This vaccine is currently being tested in a phase 2 clinical trial [190].

5. Sequence Identities among ESAT6-Like Proteins Encoded by Genes in RD1, RD7 and RD9

All of the six ESAT6-like proteins encoded by genes in RD1, RD7 and RD9 are of low molecular weight, are approximately the same size and share a similar genomic organization [102], but they share minimum sequence identities (6 to 20%) with ESAT6 (EsxA) (Table 5) and CFP10 (EsxB) [102,168], suggesting that none of these proteins can replace ESAT6 (EsxA) and/or CFP10 (EsxB) either in diagnosis or vaccine applications.
Similarly, the individual ESAT6-like proteins encoded by genes in RD7 and RD9 also have minimum sequence identities with each other (Table 6). In contrast, the EsxV (Rv3619c) and EsxW (Rv3620c) encoded by RD7 have extensive sequence identities (93% and 97%) with EsxO (Rv2346c) and EsxP (Rv2347c) encoded by RD9, respectively (Table 6). This suggests that EsxV (Rv3619c) and EsxO (Rv2346c); and EsxW (Rv3620c) and EsxP (Rv2347c) have evolved through gene duplication. These high levels of sequence identities suggest that EsxV (Rv3619c) may replace EsxO (Rv2346c) and EsxW (Rv3620c) may replace EsxP (Rv2347c) in diagnostic and/or vaccine applications.

6. Summary

The M. tuberculosis-specific genomic regions RD1, RD7, and RD9 can potentially encode a total of 29 proteins. Among them, three pairs of proteins, i.e., EsxA (ESAT6) and EsxB (CFP10); EsxO (Rv2346c) and EsxP (Rv2347c); and EsxV (Rv3619c) and EsxW (3620c) belong to the family of ESAT6-like proteins. EsxO and EsxV share 93%, and EsxP and EsxW share 97% sequence identities, suggesting gene duplication. EsxA and EsxB have been widely used in the specific diagnosis of infection with M. tuberculosis in interferon-gamma release assays. Furthermore, both of these proteins have also been included as components of subunit vaccines that have been tested in human phase 1 and phase 2 clinical trials. However, EsxA and EsxB cannot be used both as vaccines and diagnostic reagents. Furthermore, EsxV and EsxW are also included in a vaccine preparation known as ID93, which is undergoing a phase 2a clinical trial in humans. Due to the extensive use of EsxA and EsxB in diagnostic applications, it is advisable to exclude them from vaccine preparations and focus on the use of the vaccine candidates containing EsxV and EsxW, i.e., ID93 for vaccination against TB.

Author Contributions

Conceptualization, A.S.M.; writing, A.S.M. The author has read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.


This research was supported by Kuwait University Research Sector grants MI04/05 and SRUL02/13.

Conflicts of Interest

The author declares no conflict of interest.


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Figure 1. The organization of the CFP10 and ESAT6 genes in M. tuberculosis genome.
Figure 1. The organization of the CFP10 and ESAT6 genes in M. tuberculosis genome.
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Table 1. M. tuberculosis genomic regions deleted in all strains of Bacillus Calmette Guerin (BCG) and annotations of deleted genes in the lab-adopted virulent M. tuberculosis strain H37Rv.
Table 1. M. tuberculosis genomic regions deleted in all strains of Bacillus Calmette Guerin (BCG) and annotations of deleted genes in the lab-adopted virulent M. tuberculosis strain H37Rv.
Region Deleted (RD) aAnnotations (Rv nos.) of Deleted Genes b
a Regions Deleted (RDs) are numbered according to Behr et al. [108]. b Rv nos. of deleted genes are assigned in M. tuberculosis strain H37Rv genome according to Behr et al. [108].
Table 2. Gene annotation, gene name, and description of proteins encoded by genes in RD1.
Table 2. Gene annotation, gene name, and description of proteins encoded by genes in RD1.
Amoudy et al. [120]Mahairas et al. [76]Cole et al. [107]Gene NameDescription of Proteins
ORF2ORF1ARv3871Rv3871591 aa, Probable conserved hypothetical protein
ORF3NPRv3872PE3599 aa, PE family-related protein
ORF4NPNPorf4139 aa, Hypothetical protein
ORF5ORF1BRv3873PPE68368 aa, PPE family protein
ORF6NPRv3874esxB100 aa, 10 kDa culture filtrate antigen EsxB (LHP, CFP10, MTSA10)
ORF7ORF1CRv3875esxA95 aa, 6 kDa early secretory antigenic target EsxA (ESAT6)
ORF8NPNPorf8140 aa, Hypothetical protein
ORF9ORF1DRv3876Rv3876668 aa, Conserved hypothetical proline and alanine rich protein
ORF10ORF1ERv3877Rv3877511 aa, Probable conserved transmembrane protein
ORF11ORF1FRv3878Rv3878281 aa, Conserved hypothetical alanine-rich protein
ORF12ORF1Gnoneorf12564 aa, Hypothetical protein
ORF13ORF1KRv3879Rv38789729 aa, Hypothetical alanine and proline rich protein
ORF14NPNPorf14263 aa, Hypothetical protein, recognized by antibodies present in sera of TB patients
ORF15NPNPorf1596 aa, Hypothetical protein
NP = Not predicted.
Table 3. Open reading frame (ORF) code, gene annotation, gene name and description of proteins encoded by genes in RD7.
Table 3. Open reading frame (ORF) code, gene annotation, gene name and description of proteins encoded by genes in RD7.
ORF CodeRv Gene AnnotationGene NameDescription of Proteins
ORF1Rv2346cEsxO94 aa, ESXO, MTB9.9E, ESAT6-like protein 6
ORF2Rv2347cEsxP98 aa, ESXP, QILSS, ESAT6-like protein 7
ORF3Rv2348cRv2348c108 aa, Rv2348c, hypothetical unknown protein
ORF4Rv2349cplcC508 aa, PLCC, probable phospholipase C 3
ORF5Rv2350cplcB512 aa, PLCB, probable membrane-associated phospholipase C 2
ORF6Rv2351cplcA512 aa, PPLCA, MTP40 antigen, probable membrane-associated phospholipase C 1
ORF7Rv2352cPPE38392 aa, PPE38, PPE family protein
ORF8Rv2353cPPE39354 aa, PPE39, PPE family protein
Table 4. ORF code, gene annotation, gene name and description of proteins encoded by genes in RD9.
Table 4. ORF code, gene annotation, gene name and description of proteins encoded by genes in RD9.
ORF CodeRv Gene AnnotationGene NameDescription of Proteins
ORF1Rv3617ephA322 aa, EPHA, probable epoxide hydrolase, (Epoxide hydratase) (Arene-oxide hydratase)
ORF2Rv3618Rv3618395 aa, Rv3618, possible monooxygenase
ORF3Rv3619cesxV94 aa, EsxV, ESAT6 family protein
ORF4Rv3620cesxW98 aa, EsxW, ESAT6 family protein
ORF5Rv3621cPPE65414 aa, PPE65, PPE-family protein
ORF6Rv3622cPE3299 aa, PE32, PE family protein
ORF7Rv3623lpqG240 aa, LPQG, probable conserved lipoprotein
Table 5. The amino acid sequence identities between ESAT6, and ESAT6-like proteins encoded by RD1, RD7 and RD9.
Table 5. The amino acid sequence identities between ESAT6, and ESAT6-like proteins encoded by RD1, RD7 and RD9.
ProteinComparison withProtein Identity
ESAT6 (EsxA)CFP10 (EsxB)15%
ESAT6 (EsxA)EsxV (Rv3619c)20%
ESAT6 (EsxA)EsxW (Rv3620c)6%
ESAT6 (EsxA)EsxO (Rv2346c)18%
ESAT6 (EsxA)EsxP (Rv2347c)6%
Table 6. The amino acid sequence identities between ESAT6-like proteins encoded by RD7 and RD9.
Table 6. The amino acid sequence identities between ESAT6-like proteins encoded by RD7 and RD9.
ProteinComparison withPercent Identity
EsxV (Rv3619c)EsxW (Rv3620c)30%
EsxO (Rv2346c)EsxP (Rv2347c)<5%
EsxV (Rv3619c)EsxO (Rv2346c)93%
EsxW (Rv3620c)EsxP (Rv2347c)97%
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Mustafa, A.S. Immunological Characterization of Proteins Expressed by Genes Located in Mycobacterium tuberculosis-Specific Genomic Regions Encoding the ESAT6-like Proteins. Vaccines 2021, 9, 27.

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Mustafa AS. Immunological Characterization of Proteins Expressed by Genes Located in Mycobacterium tuberculosis-Specific Genomic Regions Encoding the ESAT6-like Proteins. Vaccines. 2021; 9(1):27.

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Mustafa, Abu Salim. 2021. "Immunological Characterization of Proteins Expressed by Genes Located in Mycobacterium tuberculosis-Specific Genomic Regions Encoding the ESAT6-like Proteins" Vaccines 9, no. 1: 27.

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