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Microbiology. 1998 Dec;144 ( Pt 12):3397-406.

The site-specific recombination locus of mycobacteriophage Ms6 determines DNA integration at the tRNA(Ala) gene of Mycobacterium spp.

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Laboratório de Microbiologia Molecular, Faculdade de Farmácia, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal.


Genetic determinants of the temperate mycobacteriophage Ms6 required for chromosomal integration were identified. DNA sequence analysis of an attP-containing fragment revealed an ORF encoding a protein of 372 amino acid residues with a C-terminus similar to other conserved C-terminal regions typical of the phage integrase family. Comparison of the sequences of attP, attB and bacteria-prophage junctions attL and attR showed a 26 bp common core sequence, where recombination takes place, near the 5' end of the integrase gene. Nucleotide sequence analysis of the attB chromosomal region showed that the core site overlaps the 3' end of the tRNA(Ala) gene. An integration-proficient plasmid vector was constructed and efficiently inserted at the tRNA(Ala) gene of Mycobacterium smegmatis, Mycobacterium vaccae, Mycobacterium bovis BCG and Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Ra. It was demonstrated that Ms6 and D29 integrative systems can be used in conjunction for inserting genes at multiple loci. The site-specific integration system of mycobacteriophage Ms6 is a new tool for mycobacterial genetic analysis and is poorly related to those of the L5 bacteriophage family.

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