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J Bacteriol. 1994 Sep;176(17):5330-40.

Isolation of a novel IS3 group insertion element and construction of an integration vector for Lactobacillus spp.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh 27695-7624.


An insertion sequence (IS) element from Lactobacillus johnsonii was isolated, characterized, and exploited to construct an IS-based integration vector. L. johnsonii NCK61, a high-frequency conjugal donor of bacteriocin production (Laf+) and immunity (Lafr), was transformed to erythromycin resistance (Emr) with the shuttle vector pSA3. The NCK61 conjugative functions were used to mobilize pSA3 into a Laf- Lafs EMs recipient. DNA from the Emr transconjugants transformed into Escherichia coli MC1061 yielded a resolution plasmid with the same size as that of pSA3 with a 1.5-kb insertion. The gram-positive replication region of the resolution plasmid was removed to generate a pSA3-based suicide vector (pTRK327) bearing the 1.5-kb insert of Lactobacillus origin. Plasmid pTRK327 inserted randomly into the chromosomes of both Lactobacillus gasseri ATCC 33323 and VPI 11759. No homology was detected between plasmid and total host DNAs, suggesting a Rec-independent insertion. The DNA sequence of the 1.5-kb region revealed the characteristics of an IS element (designated IS1223): a length of 1,492 bp; flanking, 25-bp, imperfect inverted repeats; and two overlapping open reading frames (ORFs). Sequence comparisons revealed 71.1% similarity, including 35.7% identity, between the deduced ORFB protein of the E. coli IS element IS150 and the putative ORFB protein encoded by the Lactobacillus IS element. A putative frameshift site was detected between the overlapping ORFs of the Lactobacillus IS element. It is proposed that, similar to IS150, IS1223 produces an active transposase via translational frameshifting between two tandem, overlapping ORFs.

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