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The Tcp conjugation system of Clostridium perfringens

Author:
Wisniewski, Jessica A., Rood, Julian I.
Source:
Plasmid 2017
ISSN:
0147-619X
Subject:
Clostridium perfringens, Gram-positive bacteria, amino acid sequences, antibiotic resistance, epidemiology, genes, genetic resistance, loci, models, pathogens, plasmids, proteins, sequence analysis, tetracycline, toxins
Abstract:
The Gram-positive pathogen Clostridium perfringens possesses a family of large conjugative plasmids that is typified by the tetracycline resistance plasmid pCW3. Since these plasmids may carry antibiotic resistance genes or genes encoding extracellular or sporulation-associated toxins, the conjugative transfer of these plasmids appears to be important for the epidemiology of C. perfringens-mediated diseases. Sequence analysis of members of this plasmid family identified a highly conserved 35kb region that encodes proteins with various functions, including plasmid replication and partitioning. The tcp conjugation locus also was identified in this region, initially based on low-level amino acid sequence identity to conjugation proteins from the integrative conjugative element Tn916. Genetic studies confirmed that the tcp locus is required for conjugative transfer and combined with biochemical and structural analyses have led to the development of a functional model of the Tcp conjugation apparatus. This review summarises our current understanding of the Tcp conjugation system, which is now one of the best-characterized conjugation systems in Gram-positive bacteria.