In vivo and in vitro characterization of site-specific recombination of actinophage R4 integrase.
ABSTRACT The site-specific integrase of actinophage R4 belongs to the serine recombinase family. During the lysogenization process, it catalyzes site-specific recombination between the phage genome and the chromosome of Streptomyces parvulus 2297. An in vivo assay using Escherichia coli cells revealed that the minimum lengths of the recombination sites attB and attP are 50-bp and 49-bp, respectively, for efficient intramolecular recombination. The in vitro assay using overproduced R4 integrases as a hexahistidine (His(6))-glutathione-S-transferase (GST)-R4 integrase fusion protein, showed that the purified protein preparation retains the site-specific recombination activity which catalyzes the site-specific recombination between attP and attB in the intermolecular reaction. It also revealed that the inverted repeat within attP is essential for efficient in vitro intermolecular recombination. In addition, a gel shift assay showed that His(6)-GST-R4 integrase bound to the 50-bp attB and 49-bp attP specifically. Moreover, based on a detailed comparison analysis of amino acid sequences of serine integrases, we found the DNA binding region that is conserved in the serine recombinase containing the large C-terminal domain. Based on the results presented on this report, attachment sites needed in vitro and in vivo for site-specific recombination by the R4 integrase have been defined more precisely. This knowledge is useful for developing new genetic manipulation tools in the future.