Definition of the attI1 site of class 1 integrons

Society for General Microbiology
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Microbiology-uk, 2000, 146 (1), pp. 2855 - 2864
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Integron-encoded integrases recognize two distinct types of recombination site: attI sites, found in integrons, and members of the 59-base element (59-be) family, found in the integron-associated gene cassettes. The class 1 integron integrase, IntI1, catalyses recombination between attI1 and a 59-be, two 59-be, or two attI1 sites, but events involving two attI1 sites are less efficient than the reactions in which a 59-be participates. The full attI1 site is required for high-efficiency recombination with a 59-be site. It is 65 bp in length and includes a simple site, consisting of a pair of inversely oriented IntI1-binding domains, together with two further directly oriented IntI1-binding sites designated strong and weak. However, a smaller region that contains only the simple site is sufficient to support a lower level of recombination with a complete attI1 partner and the features that determine the orientation of attI1 reside within this region. An unusual reaction between the attI1 site and a 59-be appears to be responsible for the loss of the central region of a 59-be to create a potential fusion of two adjacent gene cassettes.
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