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J Bacteriol. 1975 Jan;121(1):354-62.

Construction of a colicin E1-R factor composite plasmid in vitro: means for amplification of deoxyribonucleic acid.


A composite plasmid has been constructed in vitro from colicin E1 factor (mass of 4.2 megadaltons [Md]) and nontransmissible resistance factor RSF 1010 (mass, 5.5. Md) deoxyribonucleic acids (DNAs) by the sequential action of Escherichia coli endonuclease (RI (Eco RI) and T4 phage DNA ligase on the covalently closed circular forms of the constituents. The composite plasmid was selected and amplified in vivo by sequential transformation of E. coli C600 with the ligated mixture and selection of transformants in medium containing streptomycin plus colicin E1, followed by amplification in the presence of chloramphenicol and purification of the extracted plasmid by dye-buoyant density gradient centrifugation in ethidium bromide-cesium chloride solution. Treatment of the composite plasmid with Eco RI yielded two fragments with mobilities corresponding to the linear forms of the parental plasmids, whereas Serratia marscesens endonuclease R (SmaR), which introduces a single scission in the colicin E1 factor but not in RSF 1010, convErted the composite plasmid to a single linear molecule (mass, 9.7 Md). Sequential degradation of colicin E1 factor with Sma R and Eco RI produced two fragments with masses of 3.5 and 0.7 Md; sequential degradation of RSF 1010 produced only one fragment (due to the cleavage with Eco RI), and sequential degradation of the composite plasmid produced the expected three fragments--an RSF 1010 Eco RI linear and the two expected products from the colicin E1 factor moiety. The composite plasmid conferred on the host cell resistance to streptomycin, sulfonamides, and colicin E1, but colicin E1 itself was not synthesized. In contrast, colicin E1 was synthesized by cells containing simultaneously both colicin E1 factor and RSF 1010 as separate entities. In the presence of chloramphenicol, the composite plasmid continued to replicate for 6 h. whereas replication of RSF 1010 and chromosomal DNA stopped within 2 h. Continued replication in the presence of chloramphenicol suggests that the replicator of the colicin E1 factor is functional in the composite plasmid.

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