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Biol Chem. 1998 Apr-May;379(4-5):575-8.

Sequence similarities between the genes encoding the S.NgoI and HaeII restriction/modification systems.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, University of Maryland, College Park 20742, USA.


The DNA sequence encoding the S.NgoI restriction/modification (R/M) system was identified from a gene bank made from Neisseria gonorrhoeae strain WR302 by identifying recombinant plasmids that induced the reporter system in a methylase detection strain AP1-200-9 (Piekarowicz et al., 1991) and were resistant to digestion with NgoI. The DNA sequence was determined from one of these (pUCP30). M.NgoI is a protein of 315 aa with a predicted MW of 35296 Da and R.NgoI is a protein of 350 aa with a predicted MW of 40650 Da. The termination codon of M.NgoI overlapped the start codon of R.NgoI. The same strategy was used to clone the R/M system encoding HaeII from Haemophilus aegyptius strain ATCC 11116. The DNA sequence from one clone representing this class (pAP704) was determined. HaeII methylase is a protein of 318 aa with a predicted MW of 35669 Da and R.HaeII contains 352 aa with a predicted MW of 40800 Da. aa alignments between the two methylases indicated that they were 74.3% identical and 79% similar. DNA sequence alignments revealed 68% identity. An aa alignment between the two restriction enzymes indicated that they were 60% identical and 68% similar. DNA sequence alignments revealed 61% identity. The DNA sequences flanking these two systems were identified and used to determine the genomic organization of the two systems. The S.NgoI genes were found between two genes, one with high homology to GTP binding proteins of unknown function and one with homology to genes involved in tRNA synthetase synthesis. The HaeII R/M genes were located between two genes, mucF and mucE. The DNA sequence of the HaeII R/M system was compared to the genomic DNA sequence of H. influenzae Rd. Although the DNA sequences flanking the HaeII system were > 99% identical to contiguous DNA fragments found in the genome of H. influenzae Rd, no homology was seen with the DNA sequences encoding the HaeII R/M system, indicating that it is not found in this strain. Given the vast difference in the GC content of S.NgoI and HaeII, their apparent insertion into polycistronic operons, and their difference in codon usage when compared to the species from which they were isolated, the data suggest that these R/M systems originated in an organism other than Neisseria or Haemophilus.

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