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Mechanisms of Theta Plasmid Replication.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Microbiology Spectrum
Publisher
American Society for Microbiology
Volume
3
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1128/microbiolspec.PLAS-0029-2014
Source
UCSC Cancer biomedical-ucsc
License
Unknown

Abstract

Plasmids are autonomously replicating pieces of DNA. This article discusses theta plasmid replication, which is a class of circular plasmid replication that includes ColE1-like origins of replication popular with expression vectors. All modalities of theta plasmid replication initiate synthesis with the leading strand at a predetermined site and complete replication through recruitment of the host s replisome, which extends the leading strand continuously while synthesizing the lagging strand discontinuously. There are clear differences between different modalities of theta plasmid replication in mechanisms of DNA duplex melting and in priming of leading- and lagging-strand synthesis. In some replicons duplex melting depends on transcription, while other replicons rely on plasmid-encoded trans-acting proteins (Reps); primers for leading-strand synthesis can be generated through processing of a transcript or in other replicons by the action of host- or plasmid-encoded primases. None of these processes require DNA breaks. The frequency of replication initiation is tightly regulated to facilitate establishment in permissive hosts and to achieve a steady state. The last section of the article reviews how plasmid copy number is sensed and how this feedback modulates the frequency of replication.

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