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J Bacteriol. 1998 Dec;180(23):6415-8.

A family of stability determinants in pathogenic bacteria.

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  • Microbiology Unit, Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3QU, England, UK. Finbarr.hayes@mail.bi.umist.ac.uk


A novel segregational stability system was identified on plasmid R485, which originates from Morganella morganii. The system is composed of two overlapping genes, stbD and stbE, which potentially encode proteins of 83 and 93 amino acids, respectively. Homologs of the stbDE genes were identified on the enterotoxigenic plasmid P307 from Escherichia coli and on the chromosomes of Vibrio cholerae and Haemophilus influenzae biogroup aegyptius. The former two homologs also promote plasmid stability in E. coli. Furthermore, the stbDE genes share homology with components of the relBEF operon and with the dnaT gene of E. coli. The organization of the stbDE cassette is reminiscent of toxin-antitoxin stability cassettes.

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