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Microb Drug Resist. 2011 Sep;17(3):389-94. doi: 10.1089/mdr.2011.0037. Epub 2011 Jun 24.

Transposon Tn5393e carrying the aphA1-containing transposon Tn6023 upstream of strAB does not confer resistance to streptomycin.

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School of Molecular Bioscience, The University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.


The simplest form of transposon Tn5393 carries the strA and strB genes that confer resistance to streptomycin, in addition to its transposition determinants. Tn5393e, made up of Tn5393 and a second transposon, Tn6023, was found in an IncHI2 plasmid, pSRC125, recovered from a multiply antibiotic-resistant Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium isolate of bovine origin. Tn6023 is made up of the aphA1b gene flanked by two inversely oriented copies of insertion sequence (IS) IS26 and is flanked by an 8 bp duplication. It is related to several other transposons that carry aphA1b in fragments of differing length, also flanked by copies of IS26. Tn6023 is located in the tnpR gene of Tn5393, which lies upstream of the strA and strB genes, and the combined structure was designated Tn5393e. Although neither strA nor strB contain any mutations that would inactivate them, pSRC125 does not confer resistance to streptomycin, indicating that the strA and strB genes are not expressed. In Tn5393, strA and strB are transcribed from the tnpR promoter, and in Tn5393e neither this transcript nor the transcript from the aphA1b promoter in Tn6023 must reach strAB. Tn5393e was previously found in different locations in Corynebacteria, indicating that it can move and suggesting a wide distribution. The structures of several further variants of Tn5393 found in GenBank were analyzed and assigned variant designations Tn5393f-Tn5393i.

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