The integration and excision of CTnDOT

Margaret M. Wood, Jeffrey F. Gardner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bacteroides species are one of the most prevalent groups of bacteria present in the human colon. Many strains carry large, integrated elements including integrative and conjugative elements (ICEs). One such ICE is CTnDOT, which is 65 kb in size and encodes resistances to tetracycline and erythromycin. CTnDOT has been increasing in prevalence in Bacteroides spp., and is now found in greater than 80% of natural isolates. In recent years, CTnDOT has been implicated in the spread of antibiotic resistance among gut microbiota. Interestingly, the excision and transfer of CTnDOT is stimulated in the presence of tetracycline. The tyrosine recombinase IntDOT catalyzes the integration and excision reactions of CTnDOT. Unlike the well-characterized lambda Int, IntDOT tolerates heterology in the overlap region between the sites of cleavage and strand exchange. IntDOT also appears to have a different arrangement of active site catalytic residues. It is missing one of the arginine residues that is conserved in other tyrosine recombinases. The excision reaction of CTnDOT is complex, involving excision proteins Xis2c, Xis2d, and Exc, as well as IntDOT and a Bacteroides host factor. Xis2c and Xis2d are small, basic proteins like other recombination directionality factors (RDFs). Exc is a topoisomerase; however, the topoisomerase function is not required for the excision reaction. Exc has been shown to stimulate excision frequencies when there are mismatches in the overlap regions, suggesting that it may play a role in resolving Holliday junctions (HJs) containing heterology. Work is currently under way to elucidate the complex interactions involved with the formation of the CTnDOT excisive intasomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberMDNA3-0020-2014
JournalMicrobiology Spectrum
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Ecology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology
  • Infectious Diseases


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