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J Mol Biol. 1990 Jul 5;214(1):39-53.

Nucleotide sequence of the promoter-distal region of the tra operon of plasmid R100, including traI (DNA helicase I) and traD genes.

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Institute of Applied Microbiology, University of Tokyo, Japan.


The nucleotide sequence of the promoter-distal region of the tra operon of R100 was determined. There are five open reading frames in the region between traT and finO, and their protein products were identified. Nucleotide sequences of plasmid F corresponding to the junction regions among the open reading frames seen in R100 were also determined. Comparison of these nucleotide sequences revealed strong homology in the regions containing traD, traI and an open reading frame (named orfD). The TraD protein (83,899 Da) contains three hydrophobic regions, of which two are located near the amino-terminal region. This protein also contains a possible ATP-binding consensus sequence at the amino-terminal region and a characteristic repeated peptide sequence (Gln-Gln-Pro)10 at the carboxy-terminal region. The TraI protein (191,679 Da) contains the sequence motif conserved in an ATP-dependent DNA helicase superfamily in its carboxy-terminal region. The protein product of orfD, which is probably a new tra gene (named traX), contains 65% hydrophobic amino acids, especially rich in alanine and leucine. There exist non-homologous regions between R100 and F that could be represented as four I-D (insertion or deletion) loops in heteroduplex molecules. Assignment of each loop to the strand of R100 or F was , however, found to be the reverse from that previously assumed. The three I-D loops that were located between traT and traD, between traD and traI, and between traI and finO had no terminal inverted repeat sequences nor had they any homology with known insertion sequences, while the fourth was IS3, located within the finO gene of F. The sequences in the I-D loops, except IS3, may also code for proteins that are, however, likely to be nonessential for transfer of plasmids.

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