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Mol Microbiol. 1993 Sep;9(6):1123-30.

Processes at the nick region link conjugation, T-DNA transfer and rolling circle replication.

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Department of Medicine, UCSD Medical Center 92103.


Data from prokaryotic replicative and conjugative systems, which interrelate DNA processing events initiated by a site-specific nick, are reviewed. While the replicative systems have been established in accordance with the rolling circle replication model, the mechanism of conjugative replication has not been elucidated experimentally. We summarize data involving random point mutagenesis of the RK2 transfer origin (oriT), which yielded relaxation-deficient and transfer-deficient derivatives having mutations exclusively in a 10bp region defined as the nick region. Features of the RK2 (IncP) nick region, including the DNA sequence, nick site position, and 5' covalent attachment of the nicking protein, have striking parallels in other systems involving nicking and mobilization of single-stranded DNA from a supercoiled substrate. These other systems include T-DNA transfer occurring in Agrobacterium tumefaciens Ti plasmid-mediated tumorigenesis in plants, and the rolling circle replication of plasmids of Gram-positive bacteria and of phi X174-like bacteriophage. The structural and functional similarities suggest that IncP conjugative replication, originating at the oriT, and T-DNA transfer replication, originating at the T-DNA border, produce continuous strands via a rolling circle-type replication.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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