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Gene Review

traM  -  conjugal transfer protein TraM

Escherichia coli

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Disease relevance of traM


High impact information on traM

  • TraM is essential for F plasmid-mediated bacterial conjugation, where it binds to the plasmid DNA near the origin of transfer, and recognizes a component of the transmembrane DNA transfer complex, TraD [2].
  • Comparison of TraM to its Glu88 mutants predicted to stabilize the helical structure suggests that the protonated state is the active form for binding TraD in conjugation [2].
  • The gene encoding the TraM protein of the conjugative plasmid F was cloned, overexpressed and the gene product was purified [3].
  • The TraM protein was found in the cytoplasm of cells carrying the F plasmid with a smaller amount in the inner membrane [3].
  • Using DNA retardation assays and the DNase I footprinting technique, the TraM protein was found to bind to three large motifs in the oriT region: (I) an inverted repeat, (II) two direct repeats, and (III) the traM promoter region [4].

Biological context of traM


Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of traM

  • Site-specific mutagenesis of the region encoding the N-terminus of the TraM protein eliminated the autoregulative effect indicating that the N-terminal amino acids of the protein are important to its DNA-binding function [8].


  1. Studies on the binding of integration host factor (IHF) and TraM to the origin of transfer of the IncFV plasmid pED208. Di Laurenzio, L., Scraba, D.G., Paranchych, W., Frost, L.S. Mol. Gen. Genet. (1995) [Pubmed]
  2. Protonation-mediated structural flexibility in the F conjugation regulatory protein, TraM. Lu, J., Edwards, R.A., Wong, J.J., Manchak, J., Scott, P.G., Frost, L.S., Glover, J.N. EMBO J. (2006) [Pubmed]
  3. The TraM protein of the conjugative plasmid F binds to the origin of transfer of the F and ColE1 plasmids. Di Laurenzio, L., Frost, L.S., Paranchych, W. Mol. Microbiol. (1992) [Pubmed]
  4. Characterization of the oriT region of the IncFV plasmid pED208. Di Laurenzio, L., Frost, L.S., Finlay, B.B., Paranchych, W. Mol. Microbiol. (1991) [Pubmed]
  5. The TraM protein of plasmid R1 is a DNA-binding protein. Schwab, M., Gruber, H., Högenauer, G. Mol. Microbiol. (1991) [Pubmed]
  6. Repression of the traM gene of plasmid R100 by its own product and integration host factor at one of the two promoters. Abo, T., Ohtsubo, E. J. Bacteriol. (1993) [Pubmed]
  7. Promoter mapping and DNA sequencing of the F plasmid transfer genes traM and traJ. Thompson, R., Taylor, L. Mol. Gen. Genet. (1982) [Pubmed]
  8. TraM of plasmid R1 regulates its own expression. Schwab, M., Reisenzein, H., Högenauer, G. Mol. Microbiol. (1993) [Pubmed]
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