ABSTRACT Tn5 was one of the first transposons to be identified ( 10 ). As a result of Tn5's early discovery and its simple macromolecular requirements for transposition, the Tn5 system has been a very productive tool for studying the molecular mechanism of DNA transposition. These studies are of broad value because they offer insights into DNA transposition in general, because DNA transposition is a useful model with which to understand other types of protein-DNA interactions such as retroviral DNA integration and the DNA cleavage events involved in immunoglobulin gene formation, and because Tn5-derived tools are useful adjuncts in genetic experimentation.
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ABSTRACT: Re-programming microorganisms to modify their existing functions and/or to bestow bacteria with entirely new-to-Nature tasks have largely relied so far on specialized molecular biology tools. Such endeavors are not only relevant in the burgeoning metabolic engineering arena but also instrumental to explore the functioning of complex regulatory networks from a fundamental point of view. À la carte modification of bacterial genomes thus calls for novel tools to make genetic manipulations easier. We propose the use of a series of new broad-host-range mini-Tn5-vectors, termed pBAMDs, for the delivery of gene(s) into the chromosome of Gram-negative bacteria and for generating saturated mutagenesis libraries in gene function studies. These delivery vectors endow the user with the possibility of easy cloning and subsequent insertion of functional cargoes with three different antibiotic-resistance markers (kanamycin, streptomycin, and gentamicin). After validating the pBAMD vectors in the environmental bacterium Pseudomonas putida KT2440, their use was also illustrated by inserting the entire poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) synthesis pathway from Cupriavidus necator in the chromosome of a phosphotransacetylase mutant of Escherichia coli. PHB is a completely biodegradable polyester with a number of industrial applications that make it attractive as a potential replacement of oil-based plastics. The non-selective nature of chromosomal insertions of the biosynthetic genes was evidenced by a large landscape of PHB synthesis levels in independent clones. One clone was selected and further characterized as a microbial cell factory for PHB accumulation, and it achieved polymer accumulation levels comparable to those of a plasmid-bearing recombinant. Taken together, our results demonstrate that the new mini-Tn5-vectors can be used to confer interesting phenotypes in Gram-negative bacteria that would be very difficult to engineer through direct manipulation of the structural genes.Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology 01/2014; 2:46. DOI:10.3389/fbioe.2014.00046
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ABSTRACT: The insertion sequence IS26 plays a key role in disseminating antibiotic resistance genes in Gram-negative bacteria, forming regions containing more than one antibiotic resistance gene that are flanked by and interspersed with copies of IS26. A model presented for a second mode of IS26 movement that explains the structure of these regions involves a translocatable unit consisting of a unique DNA segment carrying an antibiotic resistance (or other) gene and a single IS copy. Structures resembling class I transposons are generated via RecA-independent incorporation of a translocatable unit next to a second IS26 such that the ISs are in direct orientation. Repeating this process would lead to arrays of resistance genes with directly oriented copies of IS26 at each end and between each unique segment. This model requires that IS26 recognizes another IS26 as a target, and in transposition experiments, the frequency of cointegrate formation was 60-fold higher when the target plasmid contained IS26. This reaction was conservative, with no additional IS26 or target site duplication generated, and orientation specific as the IS26s in the cointegrates were always in the same orientation. Consequently, the cointegrates were identical to those formed via the known mode of IS26 movement when a target IS26 was not present. Intact transposase genes in both IS26s were required for high-frequency cointegrate formation as inactivation of either one reduced the frequency 30-fold. However, the IS26 target specificity was retained. Conversion of each residue in the DDE motif of the Tnp26 transposase also reduced the cointegration frequency.mBio 08/2014; 5(5). DOI:10.1128/mBio.01801-14 · 6.88 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Hfq functions in post-transcriptional gene regulation in a wide range of bacteria, usually by promoting base pairing of mRNAs with trans-encoded sRNAs. It was previously shown that Hfq down-regulates Tn10 transposition by inhibiting IS10 transposase expression at the post-transcriptional level. This provided the first example of Hfq playing a role in DNA transposition and led us to ask if a related transposon, Tn5, is similarly regulated. We show that Hfq strongly suppresses Tn5 transposition in Escherichia coli by inhibiting IS50 transposase expression. However, in contrast to the situation for Tn10, Hfq primarily inhibits IS50 transposase transcription. As Hfq does not typically function directly in transcription, we searched for a transcription factor that also down-regulated IS50 transposase transcription and is itself under Hfq control. We show that Crp (cyclic AMP receptor protein) fits these criteria as: (1) disruption of the crp gene led to an increase in IS50 transposase expression and the magnitude of this increase was comparable to that observed for an hfq disruption; and (2) Crp expression decreased in hfq (-) . We also demonstrate that IS50 transposase expression and Tn5 transposition are induced by over-expression of the sRNA SgrS and link this response to glucose limitation. Tn5 transposition is negatively regulated by Hfq primarily through inhibition of IS50 transposase transcription. Preliminary results support the possibility that this regulation is mediated through Crp. We also provide evidence that glucose limitation activates IS50 transposase transcription and transposition.12/2014; 5(1):27. DOI:10.1186/s13100-014-0027-z