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J Mol Biol. 1985 Nov 5;186(1):77-85.

EcoA: the first member of a new family of type I restriction modification systems. Gene organization and enzymatic activities.


The characterization of the EcoA restriction-modification enzymes from Escherichia coli 15T- is described. The reactions catalysed by these enzymes are very similar to those catalysed by the classical type I restriction and modification enzymes, a family of genetically related proteins. The detailed mechanisms, particularly for DNA modification, differ. The genetic and transcriptional organizations are also very similar to those of the classical systems, despite the fact that EcoA is not allelic to the others. We demonstrate that the expression of the EcoA genes is controlled following conjugative transfer to other strains in such a way that no lethality is observed, probably because the recipient chromosome is completely modified before restriction activity is expressed.

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