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Mol Microbiol. 1995 Aug;17(4):769-79.

Rearrangements in the staphylococcal beta-lactamase-encoding plasmid, pIP1066, including a DNA inversion that generates two alternative transposons.

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National Reference Centre for Staphylococci, Laboratoire des Staphylocoques et des Streptocoques, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France.


The plasmid plP1066, harboured by by a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strain isolated in France, carries genes specifying beta-lactamase. This plasmid undergoes numerous rearrangements. One of these was insertion, between the genes binR and sin encoding resolvases, of a 16 kb element which displayed the characteristic features of a transposon. This putative transposon, named Tn5404, carried genes encoding proteins involved in its transposition, as well as a resolution system, which were indistinguishable from those of the S. aureus transposon Tn552. These were: p480 encoding a probable transposase, p271 encoding a putative ATP-binding protein, binL encoding a resolvase, and a resolution site, resL. In addition, Tn5404 carried aminoglycoside-resistance genes (aphA, str) and the insertion sequence IS1181. Tn5404 contained at its termini 116 bp imperfect inverted repeats, similar to those of Tn552, and was flanked by 6 bp direct repeats. Insertion of Tn5404 close to resR and to the structural and regulatory beta-lactamase genes (blaZ, blal, blaR1) of pIP1066, generated a 3.5 kb invertible segment flanked by inversely repeated resolution sites (resR, resL). This invertible segment, which carried p480, p271 and binL, generated in Tn552 or Tn5404, depending on its orientation. Thus, these two transposons share their transposition and resolution systems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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