Roles of Exc protein and DNA homology in the CTnDOT excision reaction

Carolyn M. Keeton, Jeffrey F. Gardner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Excision from the chromosome is the first step during the transfer of conjugative transposons (CTns) to a recipient. We previously showed that the excision of CTnDOT is more complex than the excision of lambdoid phages and CTns such as Tn916. The excision in vivo of CTnDOT utilizes four CTnDOT-encoded proteins, IntDOT, Xis2c, Xis2d, and Exc, and a host factor. We previously developed an in vitro excision reaction where the recombination sites attL and attR were located on different plasmids. The reaction was inefficient and did not require Exc, suggesting that the reaction conditions did not mimic in vivo conditions. Here, we report the development of an intramolecular excision reaction where the attL and attR sites are located on the same DNA molecule. We found that Exc stimulates the reaction 3- to 5-fold. The efficiency of the excision reaction was also dependent on the distance between the attL and attR sites and on the sequences of the overlap regions between the sites of the strand exchanges. Substrates with identical overlap sequences recombined more efficiently than ones with heterologous overlap sequences. This was surprising, because the integration reaction is not sensitive to heterology in the overlap regions of the attDOT and attB sites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3368-3376
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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