Editor: Eva Top
Conjugative DNA metabolism in Gram-negative bacteria
Article first published online: 23 OCT 2009
© 2009 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved
FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Volume 34, Issue 1, pages 18–40, January 2010
How to Cite
De La Cruz, F., Frost, L. S., Meyer, R. J. and Zechner, E. L. (2010), Conjugative DNA metabolism in Gram-negative bacteria. FEMS Microbiology Reviews, 34: 18–40. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6976.2009.00195.x
- Issue published online: 10 DEC 2009
- Article first published online: 23 OCT 2009
- Received 5 June 2009; revised 6 October 2009; accepted 7 October 2009.Final version published online 16 November 2009.
- coupling protein;
- origin of transfer
Bacterial conjugation in Gram-negative bacteria is triggered by a signal that connects the relaxosome to the coupling protein (T4CP) and transferosome, a type IV secretion system. The relaxosome, a nucleoprotein complex formed at the origin of transfer (oriT), consists of a relaxase, directed to the nic site by auxiliary DNA-binding proteins. The nic site undergoes cleavage and religation during vegetative growth, but this is converted to a cleavage and unwinding reaction when a competent mating pair has formed. Here, we review the biochemistry of relaxosomes and ponder some of the remaining questions about the nature of the signal that begins the process.