Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Tuberculosis (Edinb). 2007 Sep;87(5):393-404. Epub 2007 Jul 12.

The role of IS6110 in the evolution of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Author information

DST/NRF Centre of Excellence in Biomedical Tuberculosis Research, Division of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics, Faculty of Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Tygerberg, South Africa.


Members of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex contain the transposable element IS6110 which, due to its high numerical and positional polymorphism, has become a widely used marker in epidemiological studies. Here, we review the evidence that IS6110 is not simply a passive or 'junk' DNA sequence, but that, through its transposable activity, it is able to generate genotypic variation that translates into strain-specific phenotypic variation. We also speculate on the role that this variation has played in the evolution of M. tuberculosis and conclude that the presence of a moderate IS6110 copy number within the genome may provide the pathogen with a selective advantage that has aided its virulence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center