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Evolution and function of the neisserialdam-replacing gene

Authors
Journal
FEBS Letters
0014-5793
Publisher
Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
Publication Date
Volume
495
Issue
3
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/s0014-5793(01)02388-2
Keywords
  • Type Ii Restriction Endonuclease
  • Nmebii
  • Dna Repair
  • Neisserial Small Repeated Element
  • Non-Pathogenicneisseria
  • Neisseria Meningitidis
  • Neisseria Lactamica

Abstract

Abstract Phase variation through slippage-like mechanisms involving homopolymeric tracts depends in part on the absence of Dam-methylase in several pathogenic isolates of Neisseria meningitidis. In Dam-defective strains drg ( dam-replacing gene), flanked by pseudo-transposable small repeated elements (SREs), replaced dam. We demonstrate that drg encodes a restriction endonuclease ( NmeBII) that cleaves 5′-GmeATC-3′. drg is also present in 50% of Neisseria lactamica strains, but in most of them it is inactive because of the absence of an SRE-providing promoter. This is associated with the presence of GATmeC, suggesting an alternative restriction-modification system (RM) specific for 5′-GATC-3′, similar to Sau3AI-RM of Staphylococcus aureus 3A, Lactococcus lactis KR2 and Listeria monocytogenes.

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