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EMBO J. 1989 Sep;8(9):2711-6.

Replication origin of a single-stranded DNA plasmid pC194.

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Laboratoire de Génétique Microbienne, Institut de Biotechnologie, INRA, Jouy en Josas, France.


The replication of the single-stranded (ss) DNA plasmid pC194 by the rolling circle mechanism was investigated using chimeric plasmids that possess two pC194 replication origins. One of the origins was intact, whereas the other was either intact or mutated. The origins were activated by inducing synthesis of the pC194 replication protein, under the control of lambda phage pL promoter. Initiation of pC194 replication at one origin and termination at the other generated circular ssDNA molecules smaller than the parental chimeric plasmid. From the nature and the amount of ssDNA circles, the activity of an origin could be assessed. Our results show that (i) the signal for initiation of pC194 replication is more stringent than that for termination; (ii) the sequence and structure of the origin are important for its activity and (iii) successful termination of one replication cycle is not followed by reinitiation of another. This last observation differentiates a ssDNA plasmid (pC194) from a ssDNA phage (phi X174).

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