1887

Abstract

Accessory genetic elements, such as plasmids and integrative elements, are widespread amongst actinomycetes, but little is known about their functions and mode of replication. The conjugative element pMEA300 from is present mostly in an integrated state at a single specific site in the chromosome, but it can also replicate autonomously. Complete nucleotide sequencing, in combination with deletion studies, has revealed that o of pMEA300 is essential for autonomous replication in its host. In this study, it was shown that purified OrfB protein binds specifically to the 3′ end of its own coding sequence. Within this short sequence, a putative hairpin structure is located, which contains several direct and inverted repeats, and a nucleotide stretch that resembles the nicking site of the pC194 family of rolling circle replicating plasmids. Additional binding studies revealed that OrfB binds to an 8 bp inverted repeat that occurs three times within the hairpin structure. The data presented show that OrfB is the replication initiator (Rep) protein of pMEA300, and is therefore termed RepAM. Surprisingly, RepAM lacks significant sequence similarity with known prokaryotic Rep proteins, but it is highly similar to a number of yet uncharacterized ORFs that are located on integrative and conjugative elements of other actinomycetes. It is concluded that RepAM and its homologues are members of a novel class of Rep proteins.

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2006-10-01
2020-04-07
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