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Mol Microbiol. 1994 Oct;14(2):235-41.

Identification and characterization of an intervening sequence within the 23S ribosomal RNA genes of Campylobacter jejuni.

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Rocky Mountain Laboratories, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Hamilton, Montana 59840.


Campylobacter jejuni is a significant cause of bacterial enteritis in humans. Three of seven C. jejuni isolates examined were found to contain fragmented 23S rRNA. The occurrence of fragmented 23S rRNA correlated with the presence of an intervening sequence (IVS) within the 23S rRNA genes. The IVS is 157 nucleotides in length and replaces an eight nucleotide sequence in the 23S rRNA genes of C. jejuni isolates that contain intact 23S rRNA. The two ends of the IVS share 31 bases of complementarity that could form a stem-loop structure. Fragmentation of the 23S ribosomal RNA results from the excision of the IVS from the transcribed RNA; the 3' cleavage site maps within the putative stem-loop formed by the IVS. Southern hybridization analysis revealed that the IVS is not present in the genomes of isolates that contain intact 23S rRNA, suggesting that the IVS is not derived from Campylobacter chromosomal sequences. The C. jejuni IVS is located at a position analogous to that of the IVSs found in both Salmonella and Yersinia spp.

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