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We have cloned and determined the nucleotide (nt) sequences of the genes encoding peptidyl-tRNA hydrolase (Pth) homologues of Salmonella typhi (St) and the
Lyme disease spirochaete, Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb). We also completed the nt sequence of a pth homologous gene contained in a Chlamydia trachomatis (Ct) clone identified in the databanks. The open reading frames (ORFs) of the Pth homologues encode putative polypeptides of 194 (St), 188 (Bb) and 194 (Ct) amino acids exhibiting significant identity with Escherichia coli (Ec) Pth. Together with the products of two previously unidentified ORFs from Bacillus subtilis and Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and the recently recognized Haemophilus influenzae and Mycoplasma genitalium pth genes, these seven putative polypeptides and the Ec Pth form a group of homologous basic proteins spanning eubacteria and eukaryota which can be defined by at least three conserved regions. Previously known Ec pth mutations were located in highly conserved residues.