New functional identity for the DNA uptake sequence in transformation and its presence in transcriptional terminators

Journal of Bacteriology
Ole Herman AmburTone Tønjum


The frequently occurring DNA uptake sequence (DUS), recognized as a 10-bp repeat, is required for efficient genetic transformation in the human pathogens Neisseria meningitidis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Genome scanning for DUS occurrences in three different species of Neisseria demonstrated that 76% of the nearly 2,000 neisserial DUS were found to have two semiconserved base pairs extending from the 5' end of DUS to constitute a 12-mer repeat. Plasmids containing sequential variants of the neisserial DUS were tested for their ability to transform N. meningitidis and N. gonorrhoeae, and the 12-mer was found to outperform the 10-mer DUS in transformation efficiency. Assessment of meningococcal uptake of DNA confirmed the enhanced performance of the 12-mer compared to the 10-mer DUS. An inverted repeat DUS was not more efficient in transformation than DNA species containing a single or direct repeat DUS. Genome-wide analysis revealed that half of the nearly 1,500 12-mer DUS are arranged as inverted repeats predicted to be involved in rho-independent transcriptional termination or attenuation. The distribution of the uptake signal sequence required for transformation in the Pasteurellaceae was also biased towards transcriptional t...Continue Reading


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