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Characteristics of the conjugative transfer system of the IncM plasmid pCTX-M3 and identification of its putative regulators

Dmowski, Michal and Gołębiewski, Marcin and Kern-Zdanowicz, I. (2018) Characteristics of the conjugative transfer system of the IncM plasmid pCTX-M3 and identification of its putative regulators. Journal of Bacteriology . ISSN 1098-5530 (In Press)

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Official URL: http://jb.asm.org

Abstract

Plasmid conjugative transfer systems comprise type IV secretion systems (T4SS) coupled to DNA processing and replication. The T4SSs are divided into two phylogenetic subfamilies, namely, IVA and IVB or based on the phylogeny of the VirB4 ATPase into eight groups. The conjugation system of the IncM group plasmid pCTX-M3, from Citrobacter freundii, is classified in the IVB subfamily and in the MPFI group, as are the conjugation systems of IncI1 group plasmids. Although the majority of the conjugative genes of the IncM and IncI1 plasmids display conserved synteny, there are several differences. Here, we present a deletion analysis of 27 genes in the conjugative transfer regions of pCTX-M3. Notably, the deletion of either of two genes dispensable for conjugative transfer, namely, orf35 and orf36, resulted in an increased plasmid mobilization efficiency. Transcriptional analysis of the orf35 and orf36 deletion mutants suggested an involvement of these genes in regulating the expression of conjugative transfer genes. We also revised the host range of the pCTX-M3 replicon by finding that this replicon is unable to support replication in Agrobacterium tumefaciens, Ralstonia eutropha and Pseudomonas putida although its conjugation system is capable of introducing plasmids bearing oriTpCTX-M3 into these bacteria, which are representatives of Alpha-, Beta- and Gammaproteobacteria, respectively. Thus, the conjugative transfer system of pCTX-M3 has a much broader host range than does its replicon. Importance Horizontal gene transfer is responsible for rapid changes in bacterial genomes, and the conjugative transfer of plasmids has a great impact on the plasticity of bacteria. Here, we present a deletion analysis of the conjugative transfer system genes of the pCTX-M3 plasmid of the IncM group, which is responsible for the dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes in Enterobacteriaceae. We found that deletion of the orf35 or orf36 genes, which are dispensable for conjugative transfer, increased the plasmid mobilization efficiency. RT-qPCR analysis suggested the involvement of orf35 and orf36 in regulating the expression of transfer genes. We also revised the host range of pCTX-M3 by showing that its conjugative transfer system has a much broader host range than does its replicon.

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Q Science > QR Microbiology
Divisions:Department of Microbial Biochemistry
ID Code:1564
Deposited By: dr hab. Izabela Kern-Zdanowicz
Deposited On:24 Jul 2018 07:44
Last Modified:10 Jan 2019 23:05

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