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Plasmid. 2003 Jan;49(1):63-74.

Insights into the genetic organization of the Corynebacterium diphtheriae erythromycin resistance plasmid pNG2 deduced from its complete nucleotide sequence.

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Zentrum für Genomforschung, Universität Bielefeld, Universitätsstrasse 25, D-33615 Bielefeld, Germany.


The complete nucleotide sequence of the erythromycin resistance plasmid pNG2 from the human pathogen Corynebacterium diphtheriae S601 was determined. The plasmid has a total size of 15,100 bp and contains at least 17 coding regions. Comparative genomics identified conserved motifs within replication initiator proteins of corynebacterial plasmids and a novel nucleotide sequence feature, termed 22-bp box, located downstream of the repA gene. The erythromycin resistance determinant erm(X) is flanked by inverted repeats of the novel insertion sequence IS3504, which may be responsible for a spontaneous deletion of the antibiotic resistance gene region. Furthermore, pNG2 encodes a putative conjugative relaxase, a membrane protein of the natural resistance-associated macrophage protein (Nramp) family and a protein with Nudix hydrolase signature. Expression of the predicted coding regions of pNG2 in Escherichia coli JM109 was demonstrated by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assays. The detailed annotation of the entire pNG2 sequence provided genetic information regarding its molecular evolution and its role in dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes by horizontal gene transfer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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