PloS one

Plasmid-Encoded RepA Proteins Specifically Autorepress Individual repABC Operons in the Multipartite Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. trifolii Genome.

PMID 26147968


Rhizobia commonly have very complex genomes with a chromosome and several large plasmids that possess genes belonging to the repABC family. RepA and RepB are members of the ParA and ParB families of partitioning proteins, respectively, whereas RepC is crucial for plasmid replication. In the repABC replicons, partitioning and replication functions are transcriptionally linked resulting in complex regulation of rep gene expression. The genome of R. leguminosarum bv. trifolii TA1 (RtTA1) consists of a chromosome and four plasmids (pRleTA1a-d), equipped with functional repABC genes. In this work, the regulation of transcription of the individual repABC cassettes of the four RtTA1 plasmids was studied. The involvement of the RepA and RepB as well as parS-like centromere sites in this process was depicted, demonstrating some dissimilarity in expression of respective rep regions. RtTA1 repABC genes of individual plasmids formed operons, which were negatively regulated by RepA and RepB. Individual RepA were able to bind to DNA without added nucleotides, but in the presence of ADP, bound specifically to their own operator sequences containing imperfect palindromes, and caused operon autorepression, whereas the addition of ATP stimulated non-specific binding of RepA to DNA. The RepA proteins were able to dimerize/oligomerize: in general dimers formed independently of ATP or ADP, although ATP diminished the concentration of oligomers that were produced. By the comprehensive approach focusing on a set of plasmids instead of individual replicons, the work highlighted subtle differences between the organization and regulation of particular rep operons as well as the structures and specificity of RepA proteins, which contribute to the fine-tuned coexistence of several replicons with similar repABC cassettes in the complex bacterial genome.

Related Materials

Product #



Molecular Formula

Add to Cart

2-Nitrophenyl β-D-galactopyranoside, ≥98% (enzymatic)