Inversional switching systems in procaryotes are composed of an invertible DNA segment and a site-specific recombinase gene adjacent to or contained in the segment. Four related but functionally distinct systems have previously been characterized in detail: the Salmonella typhimurium H segment-hin gene (H-hin), phage Mu G-gin, phage P1 C-cin, and Escherichia coli e14 P-pin. In this article we report the isolation and characterization of three new recombinase genes: pinB, pinD, and defective pinF from Shigella boydii, Shigella dysenteriae, and Shigella flexneri, respectively. The genes pinB and pinD were detected by the complementation of a hin mutation of Salmonella and were able to mediate inversion of the H, P, and C segments. pinB mediated H inversion as efficiently as the hin gene did and mediated C inversion with a frequency three orders of magnitude lower than that of the cin gene. pinD mediated inversion of H and P segments with frequencies ten times as high as those for the genes intrinsic to each segment and mediated C inversion with a frequency ten times lower than that for cin. Therefore, the pinB and pinD genes were inferred to be different from each other. The invertible B segment-pinB gene cloned from S. boydii is highly homologous to the G-gin in size, organization, and nucleotide sequence of open reading frames, but the 5' constant region outside the segment is quite different in size and predicted amino acid sequence. The B segment underwent inversion in the presence of hin, pin, or cin. The defective pinF gene is suggested to have the same origin as P-pin on e14 by the restriction map of the fragment cloned from a Pin+ transductant that was obtained in transduction from S. flexneri to E. coli Δpin.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology