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The Structure Of The Mer Operon.

P. Barrineau, P. Gilbert, W. Jackson, C. Jones, A. O. Summers, S. Wisdom
Published 1985 · Biology, Medicine

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The DNA sequence has been determined for a 3.8-kb region which encodes the mercury-resistance (mer) operon of the IncFII plasmid NR1. The sequence reveals 4 open reading frames which could encode proteins of 12,522, 9,429, 14,965, and 58,912 d corresponding to the 4 previously described Hg-inducible proteins detected in minicells carrying mer+ plasmids. The Hg(II) reductase protein sequence is about 90% homologous to that of Tn501, but the DNA sequence shows a homology of 60-70% to that of Tn501 except for short regions of very high homology. The entire mer region is 63.4% G-C overall. The region encoding the merR (positive regulatory) function has 3 possible open reading frames, 2 of which overlap in one direction and the third of which reads in the opposite direction. Attempts to visualize the polypeptide(s) encoded by the merR cistron were unsuccessful.
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