Site-specific recombination system encoded by toluene catabolic transposon Tn4651

Hiroyuki Genka, Yuji Nagata, Masataka Tsuda

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12 Citations (Scopus)


The 56-kb class II toluene catabolic transposon Tn4651 from Pseudomonas putida plasmid pWW0 is unique in that (i) its efficient resolution requires, in addition to the 0.2-kb resolution (res) site, the two gene products TnpS and TnpT and (ii) the 2.4-kb tnpT-res-tnpS region is 48 kb apart from the tnpA gene (M. Tsuda, K.-I. Minegishi, and T. Iino, J. Bacteriol. 171:1386-1393, 1989). Detailed analysis of the 2.4-kb region revealed that the tnpS and tnpT genes encoding the putative 323- and 332-amino-acid proteins, respectively, were transcribed divergently with an overlapping 59-bp sequence in the 203-bp res site. The motifs (the R-H-R-Y tetrad in domains I and II with proper spacing) commonly conserved in the integrase family of site-specific recombinases were found in TnpS. In contrast, TnpT did not show any significant amino acid sequence homology to the other proteins that are directly or indirectly involved in recombination. Analysis of site-specific recombination under the Escherichia coli recA cells indicated that (i) the site-specific resolution between the two copies of the res site on a single molecule was catalyzed by TnpS, (ii) the functional res site was located within a 95-bp segment, and (iii) TnpT appeared to have the role of enhancing the site-specific resolution. It was also found that TnpS catalyzed the site-specific recombination between the res sites located at two different molecules to form a cointegrate molecule. Site-specific mutagenesis of the conserved tyrosine residue in TnpS led to the loss of both the resolution and the integration activities, indicating that such a residue took part in both types of recombination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4757-4766
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Sept
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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