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J Bacteriol. 2000 Apr;182(7):2043-7.

Mobilization of plasmids and chromosomal DNA mediated by the SXT element, a constin found in Vibrio cholerae O139.

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  • 1Division of Geographic Medicine/Infectious Diseases, New England Medical Center and Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02111, USA.


The Vibrio cholerae SXT element encodes resistance to multiple antibiotics and is a conjugative, self-transmissible, and chromosomally integrating element (a constin). Excision and self-transfer of the SXT element require an element-encoded integrase. We now report that the SXT element can also mobilize the plasmids RSF1010 and CloDF13 in trans as well as chromosomal DNA in an Hfr-like manner. SXT element-mediated mobilization of plasmids and chromosomal DNA, unlike its self-transfer, is not dependent upon excision of the element from the chromosome. These results raise the possibility that the SXT element and other constins play a general role in horizontal gene transfer among gram-negative bacteria.

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