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J Bacteriol. 1993 Jan;175(1):117-27.

Characterization of Tn1546, a Tn3-related transposon conferring glycopeptide resistance by synthesis of depsipeptide peptidoglycan precursors in Enterococcus faecium BM4147.

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Unité des Agents Antibactériens, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France.


Sequence determination of the flanking regions of the vancomycin resistance van gene cluster carried by pIP816 in Enterococcus faecium BM4147 revealed similarity to transposons of the Tn3 family. Imperfect inverted repeats (36 of 38 bp) delineated a 10,851-bp element designated Tn1546. The 4-kb region located upstream from the vanR gene contained two open reading frames (ORF) transcribed in opposite directions. The deduced amino acid sequence of ORF1 (988 residues) displayed, respectively, 56 and 42% identity to those of the transposases of Tn4430 from Bacillus thuringiensis and of Tn917 from Enterococcus faecalis. The product of ORF2 (191 residues) was related to the resolvase of Tn917 (33% amino acid identity) and to the Res protein (48%) of plasmid pIP404 from Clostridium perfringens. Tn1546 transposed consecutively in Escherichia coli from plasmid pUC18 into pOX38 and from pOX38 into various sites of pBR329. Transposition was replicative, led to the formation of cointegrates, and produced a 5-bp duplication at the target site. Southern hybridization and DNA amplification revealed the presence of Tn1546-related elements in enterococci highly resistant to glycopeptides. Analysis of sequences surrounding these elements indicated that transposition plays a role in dissemination of the van gene cluster among replicons of human clinical isolates of E. faecium.

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