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Cloning And DNA Sequence Of The Mercuric- And Organomercurial-resistance Determinants Of Plasmid PDU1358.

H. Griffin, T. Foster, Sandra Silver, T. Misra
Published 1987 · Biology, Medicine

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The broad-spectrum mercurial-resistance plasmid pDU1358 was analyzed by cloning the resistance determinants and preparing a physical and genetic map of a 45-kilobase (kb) region of the plasmid that contains two separate mercurial-resistance operons that mapped about 20 kb apart. One encoded narrow-spectrum mercurial resistance to Hg2+ and a few organomercurials; the other specified broad-spectrum resistance to phenylmercury and additional organomercurials. Each determinant governed mercurial transport functions. Southern DNA X DNA hybridization experiments using gene-specific probes from the plasmid R100 mer operon indicated close homology with the R100 determinant. The 2153 base pairs of the promoter-distal part of the broad-spectrum Hg2+-resistance operon of pDU1358 were sequenced. This region included the 3'-terminal part of the merA gene, merD, unidentified reading frame URF1, and a part of URF2 homologous to previously sequenced determinants of plasmid R100. Between the merA and merD genes, an open reading frame encoding a 212 amino acid polypeptide was identified as the merB gene that determines the enzyme organomercurial lyase that cleaves the C--Hg bond of phenylmercury.



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