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J Bacteriol. 2005 Aug;187(15):5347-55.

Mutation of the priA gene of Neisseria gonorrhoeae affects DNA transformation and DNA repair.

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Department of Microbiology-Immunology, Northwestern University Feinberg University School of Medicine, 303 East Chicago Avenue, Searle 6-458, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.


In Escherichia coli, PriA is central to the restart of chromosomal replication when replication fork progression is disrupted and is also involved in homologous recombination and DNA repair. To investigate the role of PriA in recombination and repair in Neisseria gonorrhoeae, we identified, cloned, and insertionally inactivated the gonococcal priA homologue. The priA mutant showed a growth deficiency and decreased DNA repair capability and was completely for deficient in DNA transformation compared to the isogenic parental strain. The priA mutant was also more sensitive to the oxidative damaging agents H2O2 and cumene hydroperoxide compared to the parental strain. These phenotypes were complemented by supplying a functional copy of priA elsewhere in the chromosome. The N. gonorrhoeae priA mutant showed no alteration in the frequency of pilin antigenic variation. We conclude that PriA participates in DNA repair and DNA transformation processes but not in pilin antigenic variation.

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