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Mol Gen Genet. 1989 Jun;217(2-3):481-7.

Specificity of the interactions between the Rep proteins and the origins of replication of Staphylococcus aureus plasmids pT181 and pC221.

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Department of Plasmid Biology, Public Health Research Institute, New York, NY 10016.


pT181 and pC221 are closely related Staphylococcus aureus plasmids with the same genome organization, which is characterized by the overlapping of the origin of replication with the sequence encoding a protein, Rep, essential for plasmid replication. Former results have shown the lack of in vivo cross-complementation between these two plasmids, while in vitro studies have revealed the ability of both Rep proteins to act on either origin. One possible explanation for this difference was based on a previous analysis of the incompatibility expressed by the origin of replication of these plasmids, showing that the origin embedded in the rep gene competes for Rep utilization with the origin of a test plasmid and that changes in the sequence of the origin reduce its ability to compete. To avoid this problem, in the present work special hybrids were constructed in which the origin of replication overlapping the rep gene was mutationally inactivated, without changing the amino acid sequence of the encoded protein. The level of Rep expression by these hybrids could be varied by taking advantage of what is presently known about the control of Rep synthesis in plasmid pT181.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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