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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A multicomponent system is required for tetracycline-induced excision of Tn4555.

Bacteroides spp. are the predominant organisms in the intestinal tract, and they also are important opportunistic pathogens. Antibiotic therapy of Bacteroides infections often is complicated by the prevalence of drug-resistant organisms which acquire resistance genes from a variety of mobile genetic elements including conjugative transposons (CTns) and mobilizable transposons (MTns). Tn4555 is an MTn that encodes beta-lactam resistance, and it is efficiently mobilized by the Bacteroides CTns via a tetracycline (TET)-inducible mechanism. In this study a model system with CTn341 and a Tn4555 minielement was used to examine Tn4555 excision from the chromosome. Using PCR and mobilization assays it was established that excision was stimulated by TET in the presence of CTn341. In order to determine which Tn4555 genes were required for excision, int, tnpA, tnpC, xis, and mobA mutants were examined. The results indicated that int plus two additional genes, tnpC and xis, were required for optimal excision. In addition, there was no requirement for the mobA gene, as had been shown for another MTn, NBU1. The Xis protein sequence is related to a family of plasmid excisionases, but the TnpC gene product did not match anything in the sequence databases. Evidence also was obtained that suggested that Xis is involved in the control of TET-induced excision and in control of mobilization by CTn341. Overall, these results indicate that excision of MTns is a complex process that requires multiple gene products.[1]


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