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Concerted action of NIC relaxase and auxiliary protein MobC in RA3 plasmid conjugation

Abstract: Conjugative transfer of the broad-host-range RA3 plasmid, the archetype of the IncU group, relies on the relaxase NIC that belongs to the as yet uncharacterized MOBP4 subfamily. NIC contains the signature motifs of HUH relaxases involved in Tyr nucleophilic attack. However, it differs in the residue involved in His activation for cation coordination and was shown here to have altered divalent cation requirements. NIC is encoded in the mobC-nic operon preceded directly by oriT, where mobC encodes an auxiliary transfer protein with a dual function: autorepressor and stimulator of conjugative transfer. Here an interplay between MobC and NIC was demonstrated. MobC is required for efficient NIC cleavage of oriT in supercoiled DNA whereas NIC assists MobC in repression of the mobC-nic operon. A 7-bp arm of IR3 (IR3a) was identified as the binding site for NIC and the crucial nucleotides in IR3a for NIC recognition were defined. Fully active oriTRA3 was delineated to a 47-bp DNA segment encompassing a conserved cleavage site sequence, the NIC binding site IR3a and the MobC binding site OM . This highly efficient RA3 conjugative system with defined requirements for minimal oriT could find ample applications in biotechnology and computational biology where simple conjugative systems are needed.

 Fuente: Molecular Microbiology, 2016, 101(3), 439-456

 Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

 Year of publication: 2016

 No. of pages: 18

 Publication type: Article

 DOI: 10.1111/mmi.13401

 ISSN: 0950-382X,1365-2958

 Spanish project: (BFU2014-55534-C2)

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