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Curr Opin Struct Biol. 2006 Dec;16(6):744-52. Epub 2006 Oct 31.

Cut and move: protein machinery for DNA processing in bacterial conjugation.

Author information

1
Institut de Biologia Molecular de Barcelona (CSIC), Parc Científic de Barcelona, Josep Samitier 1-5, 08028 Barcelona, Spain.

Abstract

Conjugation is a paradigmatic example of horizontal or lateral gene transfer, whereby DNA is translocated between bacterial cells. It provides a route for the rapid acquisition of new genetic information. Increased antibiotic resistance among pathogens is a troubling consequence of this microbial capacity. DNA transfer across cell membranes requires a sophisticated molecular machinery that involves the participation of several proteins in DNA processing and replication, cell recruitment, and the transport of DNA and proteins from donor to recipient cells. Although bacterial conjugation was first reported in the 1940s, only now are we beginning to unravel the molecular mechanisms behind this process. In particular, structural biology is revealing the detailed molecular architecture of several of the pieces involved.

PMID:
17079132
DOI:
10.1016/j.sbi.2006.10.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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