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Free Content The ArcA/ArcB two-component regulatory system of Escherichia coli is essential for Xer site-specific recombination at psi

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Two recombinases, XerC and XerD, act at the recombination sites psi and cer in plasmids pSC101 and ColE1 respectively. Recombination at these sites maintains the plasmids in a monomeric state and helps to promote stable plasmid inheritance. The accessory protein PepA acts at both psi and cer to ensure that only intramolecular recombination takes place. An additional accessory protein, ArgR, is required for recombination at cer but not at psi. Here, we demonstrate that the ArcA/ArcB two-component regulatory system of Escherichia coli, which mediates adaptation to anaerobic growth conditions, is required for efficient recombination in vivo at psi. Phosphorylated ArcA binds to psi in vitro and increases the efficiency of recombination at this site. Binding of ArcA to psi may contribute to the formation of a higher order synaptic complex between a pair of psi sites, thus helping to ensure that recombination is intramolecular.
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Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: Microbiology Unit, Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QU, UK.

Publication date: April 1, 1998

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