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Nucleic Acids Res. 2010 Aug;38(15):5088-104. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkq236. Epub 2010 Apr 18.

Two novel families of plasmids from hyperthermophilic archaea encoding new families of replication proteins.

Author information

1
Institut de Génétique et Microbiologie, Univ Paris-Sud, Orsay, France. nicolas.soler@inserm.fr

Abstract

Thermococcales (phylum Euryarchaeota) are model organisms for physiological and molecular studies of hyperthermophiles. Here we describe three new plasmids from Thermococcales that could provide new tools and model systems for genetic and molecular studies in Archaea. The plasmids pTN2 from Thermococcus nautilus sp. 30-1 and pP12-1 from Pyrococcus sp. 12-1 belong to the same family. They have similar size (approximately 12 kb) and share six genes, including homologues of genes encoded by the virus PAV1 from Pyrococcus abyssi. The plasmid pT26-2 from Thermococcus sp. 26-2 (21.5 kb), that corresponds to another plasmid family, encodes many proteins having homologues in virus-like elements integrated in several genomes of Thermococcales and Methanococcales. Our analyses confirm that viruses and plasmids are evolutionary related and co-evolve with their hosts. Whereas all plasmids previously isolated from Thermococcales replicate by the rolling circle mechanism, the three plasmids described here probably replicate by the theta mechanism. The plasmids pTN2 and pP12-1 encode a putative helicase of the SFI superfamily and a new family of DNA polymerase, whose activity was demonstrated in vitro, whereas pT26-2 encodes a putative new type of helicase. This strengthens the idea that plasmids and viruses are a reservoir of novel protein families involved in DNA replication.

PMID:
20403814
PMCID:
PMC2926602
DOI:
10.1093/nar/gkq236
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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