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

Structural properties of the beta origin of replication of plasmid R6K.

The beta origin of replication of plasmid R6K, one of three active R6K origins of replication, requires most or all of a 1962-base pair (bp) sequence for activity. The nucleotide sequence of a portion of this functional beta origin was determined in an earlier study (Stalker, D., Kolter, R., and Helinski, D. (1982) J. Mol. Biol. 161, 33-43). In this work, the sequence of the remaining portion of this 1964-bp segment was obtained. In addition to its activity as an origin of replication, this sequence also contains sufficient information for autonomous replication in Escherichia coli. A 277-bp region containing seven 22-bp direct repeats is present at one end of the beta origin segment (Stalker, D., Kolter, R., and Helinski, D. (1979) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 76, 1150-1154) while the other end contains a 140-bp sequence that includes a relaxation complex site. The 277-bp direct repeat region is required for activity of the beta origin. The start of the beta origin of replication as mapped by electron microscopy (Crosa, J. (1980) J. Biol. Chem. 255, 11075-11077) lies approximately 1000 bp away from the 277-bp region. The pi structural gene, which makes up most of the sequence between the direct repeats and the beta origin, is required in cis for beta origin activity. The pi protein also is required for beta origin activity but can be provided in trans. The nucleotide sequence just beyond the pi structural gene and within or near the start of beta origin of replication contains an open reading frame for a 151-amino acid protein. Deletions ranging from 94 bp to 1590 bp were obtained within the 1964-bp beta origin region. In every case, the deletion results in loss of origin activity even when the deleted sequence plus adjacent regions are provided in trans. These observations suggest a requirement for a specific secondary structure over an extensive region for beta origin activity.[1]


  1. Structural properties of the beta origin of replication of plasmid R6K. Shafferman, A., Helinski, D.R. J. Biol. Chem. (1983) [Pubmed]
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