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Mol Gen Genet. 1999 Jun;261(4-5):707-15.

Mobilisation of the streptococcal plasmid pMV158: interactions of MobM protein with its cognate oriT DNA region.

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Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid, Spain.


The streptococcal plasmid pMV158 encodes the relaxase protein, MobM, involved in its mobilisation. Purified MobM protein specifically cleaved supercoiled or single-stranded DNA containing the plasmid origin of transfer, oriT. Gel retardation and DNase I footprinting assays performed with DNA fragments containing the plasmid oriT provided evidence for specific binding of MobM by oriT DNA. Dissection of the MobM-binding sequence revealed that the oriT region protected by MobM spanned 28 nucleotides, and includes an inversely repeated sequence, termed IR2. MobM exhibits a high degree of similarity with the mob gene product of the Streptococcus ferus plasmid pVA380-1. Although the origins of transfer of pMV158 and pVA380-1 show 20% sequence divergence in a 24-bp sequence included in their oriT regions, the pMV158 MobM was able to cleave a supercoiled derivative of pVA380-1 in vitro.

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