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J Bacteriol. 1994 May;176(10):3049-61.

Plasmid-borne cadmium resistance genes in Listeria monocytogenes are present on Tn5422, a novel transposon closely related to Tn917.

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Laboratoire de Génétique Moléculaire des Listeria, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France.


The complete (6,449-bp) nucleotide sequence of the first-described natural transposon of Listeria monocytogenes, designated Tn5422, was determined. Tn5422 is a transposon of the Tn3 family delineated by imperfect inverted repeats (IRs) of 40 bp. It contains two genes which confer cadmium resistance (M. Lebrun, A. Audurier, and P. Cossart, J. Bacteriol. 176:3040-3048, 1994) and two open reading frames that encode a transposase (TnpA) and a resolvase (TnpR) of 971 and 184 amino acids, respectively. The cadmium resistance genes and the transposition genes are transcribed in opposite directions and are separated by a putative recombination site (res). The structural elements presumed to be involved in transposition of Tn5422 (IRs, transposase, resolvase, and res) are very similar to those of Tn917, suggesting a common origin. The transposition genes were not induced by cadmium. Analysis of sequences surrounding Tn5422 in nine different plasmids of L. monocytogenes indicated that Tn5422 is a functional transposon, capable of intramolecular replicative transposition, generating deletions. This transposition process is probably the reason for the size diversity of the L. monocytogenes plasmids. Restriction analysis and Southern hybridization revealed the presence of Tn5422 in all the plasmid-mediated cadmium-resistant L. monocytogenes strains tested but not in strains encoding cadmium resistance on the chromosome.

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