The product of the traM gene of plasmid R100 was purified as the TraM-collagen-β-galactosidase fusion protein (TraM*) by using a β-galactosidase-specific affinity column, and the TraM portion of TraM* (TraM') was separated by collagenolysis. Both the TraM* and TraM' proteins were found to bind specifically to a broad region preceding the traM gene. This region (designed sbm) was located within the nonconserved region in oriT among conjugative plasmids related to R100. The region seems to contain four core binding sites (designated sbmA, sbmB, sbmC, and sbmD), each consisting of a similar number of nucleotides and including a homologous 15-bp sequence. This result, together with the observation that the TraM* protein was located in the membrane fraction, indicates the possibility that the TraM protein has a function in anchoring the oriT region of R100 at the sbm sites to the membrane pore, through which the single-stranded DNA is transferred to the recipient. sbmC and sbmD, each of which contained a characteristic inverted repeat sequence, overlapped with the promoter region for the traM gene. This suggests that the expression of the traM gene may be regulated by its own product.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology