A Distinctive Class of Integron in the Vibrio cholerae Genome

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Science  24 Apr 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5363, pp. 605-608
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5363.605

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The ability of bacteria to acquire and disseminate heterologous genes has been a major factor in the development of multiple drug resistance. A gene, intI4, was identified that encodes a previously unknown integrase that is associated with a “gene-VCR” organization (VCRs are Vibrio cholerae repeated sequences), similar to that of the well-characterized antibiotic resistance integrons. The similarity was confirmed by IntI1-mediated recombination of a gene-VCR cassette into a class 1 integron. VCR cassettes are found in a number of Vibrio species including a strain of V. metschnikovii isolated in 1888, suggesting that this mechanism of heterologous gene acquisition predated the antibiotic era.

  • * Present address: Institut Pasteur, 25-28 rue du Dr. Roux, 75724 Paris Cedex 15, France.

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