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J Mol Biol. 1989 Oct 5;209(3):335-44.

Conservation of organization in the specificity polypeptides of two families of type I restriction enzymes.

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Department of Molecular Biology, University of Edinburgh, U.K.


We have identified the recognition sequence for the Citrobacter freundii restriction endonuclease CfrA, a member of the A-family of type I R-M enzymes. This bipartite target sequence differs in both its components from those of other type I enzymes. We determined the nucleotide sequence of its specificity gene (hsdS) and a comparison of this with its relative EcoA identifies two extensive variable regions, an organization analogous to that found in the K-family of type I R-M enzymes. The specificity polypeptides of the A-family, unlike those of K, have an N-terminal conserved region, and this includes a sequence repeated within the central conserved region. A second repeat sequence, identified at the amino acid level, coincides with the only sequence similarity common to all type I S polypeptides. Sequences immediately downstream from the hsdS genes of EcoA, CfrA, EcoK, B and D are almost identical, consistent with an allelic chromosomal location.

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