Novel broad-host-range vehicles for cloning and shuffling of gene cassettes.

Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences, 02-106 Warsaw, Pawinskiego 5A, Poland.
Journal of microbiological methods (Impact Factor: 2.43). 10/2011; 88(1):53-62. DOI: 10.1016/j.mimet.2011.10.011
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Novel vectors for cloning and shuffling of gene cassettes based on minireplicon of broad-host-range RA3 plasmid from IncU incompatibility group were constructed. A series of minireplicon variants were prepared with copy number ranging from low (1-2 copies per chromosome), medium (10-15 copies per chromosome) to high copy number (80-90 copies per chromosome). The new cloning vectors are relatively small in size (4.5-5.4kb) and carry various resistance determinants: kanamycin (Km(R)), tetracycline (Tc(R)) or chloramphenicol (Cm(R)). The vectors were engineered to facilitate cloning and shuffling of the functional modules with or without transcriptional terminators. Using the described strategy, a bank of functional modules, ready for exchange, has been initiated.

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    ABSTRACT: The broad-host-range conjugative RA3 plasmid from IncU incompatibility group has been isolated from the fish pathogen Aeromonas hydrophila. DNA sequencing has revealed a mosaic modular structure of RA3 with the stabilization module showing some similarity to IncP-1 genes and the conjugative transfer module highly similar to that from PromA plasmids. The integrity of the mosaic plasmid genome seems to be specified by its regulatory network. In this paper the transcriptional regulator KorC was analyzed. KorCRA3 (98 amino acids) is encoded in the stabilization region and represses four strong promoters by binding to a conserved palindrome sequence, designated OC on the basis of homology to the KorC operator sequences in IncP-1 plasmids. Two of the KorCRA3-regulated promoters precede the first two cistrons in the stabilization module, one fires towards replication module, remaining one controls a tricistronic operon, whose products are involved in the conjugative transfer process. Despite the similarity between the binding sites in IncU and IncP-1 plasmids, no cross-reactivity between their KorC proteins has been detected. KorC emerges as a global regulator of RA3, coordinating all its backbone functions: replication, stable maintenance and conjugative transfer.
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