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Nucleic Acids Res. 1987 Jul 24;15(14):5561-80.

Initiation signals for the conversion of single stranded to double stranded DNA forms in the streptococcal plasmid pLS1.


We have characterized a region in the streptococcal plasmid pLS1 located between nucleotides 4103 and 4218 which is a signal involved in the conversion of single stranded intermediates of replication to double stranded plasmid forms. This region has a large axis of dyad symmetry resulting in the formation of a secondary structure as revealed by the location of endonuclease S1-cleavage sites in supercoiled covalently closed circular pLS1 DNA. Deletions affecting this region caused a fivefold reduction in plasmid copy number, plasmid instability and the accumulation of single-stranded DNA intermediates. The conversion signal of pLS1 has homologues in other staphylococcal plasmids, sharing a consensus sequence located in the loop of the signal. Computer assisted analysis showed that the signal detected in pLS1 has a high degree of homology with the complementary strand origin of the Escherichia coli single stranded bacteriophages phi X174 and M13.

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