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J Microbiol. 2009 Jun;47(3):327-36. doi: 10.1007/s12275-009-0044-7. Epub 2009 Jun 26.

Mobilization functions of the bacteriocinogenic plasmid pRJ6 of Staphylococcus aureus.

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Departamento de Genética, Instituto de Biologia, Mexico City, Mexico.


Plasmid pRJ6 is the first known bacteriocinogenic mobilizable (Mob) plasmid of Staphylococcus aureus. Its Mob region is composed of four mob genes (mobCDAB) arranged as an operon, a genetic organization uncommon among S. aureus Mob plasmids. oriT (pRJ6) was detected in a region of 431 bp, positioned immediately upstream of mobC. This region, when cloned into pCN37, was able to confer mobilization to the re-combinant plasmid only in the presence of pRJ6. The entire Mob region, including oriT (pRJ6), is much more similar to Mob regions from several coagulase-negative staphylococci plasmids, although some remarkable similarities with S. aureus Mob plasmids can also be noted. These similarities include the presence within oriT (pRJ6) of the three mcb (MobC binding sites), firstly described in pC221 and pC223, an identical nick site also found in these same plasmids, and a nearly identical sra(pC223) site (sequence recognized by MobA). pRJ6 was successfully transferred to S. epidermidis by conjugation in the presence of the conjugative plasmid pGOl. Altogether these findings suggest that pRJ6 might have been originally a coagulase-negative staphylococci plasmid that had been transferred successfully to S. aureus.

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