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EMBO J. 1989 May;8(5):1623-7.

xerB, an Escherichia coli gene required for plasmid ColE1 site-specific recombination, is identical to pepA, encoding aminopeptidase A, a protein with substantial similarity to bovine lens leucine aminopeptidase.

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Institute of Genetics, University of Glasgow, UK.


The heritable stability of ColE1 is dependent on a site-specific recombination system which acts to resolve plasmid multimers into monomers. This plasmid stabilizing recombination system requires the presence in cis of the ColE1 cer region, plus at least two trans-acting factors encoded by the xerA and xerB genes of Escherichia coli. The xerB gene has been cloned and sequenced and found to encode a polypeptide with a calculated mol. wt of 55.3 kd. The predicted amino acid sequence of this protein exhibits striking similarity to that of bovine lens leucine aminopeptidase (53 kd). The biological significance of this similarity is corroborated by genetic and biochemical evidence which suggests that xerB is identical to the E.coli and S.typhimurium pepA genes that encode aminopeptidase A.

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