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Mol Microbiol. 1996 Apr;20(1):53-63.

Functional analysis of the Enterococcus faecalis plasmid pAD1-encoded stability determinant par.

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Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, University of South Dakota, Vermillion 57069, USA.


The molecular organization and functional characteristics of the PAD1 replicon-encoded par stability determinant were examined. par encodes two convergently transcribed RNAS of approximately 210 and 65 nucleotides designated RNA I and RNA II, respectively. The sequence of RNA II is largely complementary to RNA I, suggesting that RNA II could regulate RNA I function as an anti-sense RNA. Results of functional studies are consistent with a role for par as a post-segregational killing system, the first to be identified in Gram-positive bacteria, with RNA I encoding the toxin and RNA II the antidote. These results include: (i) destabilization of par-containing replicons in the presence of a second complete par or the RNA II coding sequence in the same cell; (ii) par-dependent stabilization of a highly unstable vector at the expense of host-cell growth rate; and (iii) protection of cells from the toxic effects of overexpression of RNA I by RNA II supplied in trans.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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