Distribution, Sequence Homology, and Homing of Group I Introns among T-even-like Bacteriophages: Evidence for recent transfer of old introns
2004 (English)In: Journal of Biological Chemistry, ISSN 0021-9258, Vol. 279, no 21, 22218-22227 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Self-splicing group I introns are being found in an increasing number of bacteriophages. Most introns contain an open reading frame coding for a homing endo-nuclease that confers mobility to both the intron and the homing endonuclease gene (HEG). The frequent occurrence of intron/HEG has raised questions whether group I introns are spread via horizontal transfer between phage populations. We have determined complete sequences for the known group I introns among T-even-like bacteriophages together with sequences of the intron-containing genes td, nrdB, and nrdD from phages with and without introns. A previously uncharacterized phage isolate, U5, is shown to contain all three introns, the only phage besides T4 found with a “full set” of these introns. Sequence analysis of td and nrdB genes from intron-containing and intronless phages provides evidence that recent horizontal transmission of introns has occurred among the phages. The fact that several of the HEGs have suffered deletions rendering them non-functional implies that the homing endonucleases are of no selective advantage to the phage and are rapidly degenerating and probably dependent upon frequent horizontal transmissions for maintenance within the phage populations. Several of the introns can home to closely related intronless phages during mixed infections. However, the efficiency of homing varies and is dependent on homology in regions flanking the intron insertion site. The occurrence of optional genes flanking the respective intron-containing gene can strongly affect the efficiency of homing. These findings give further insight into the mechanisms of propagation and evolution of group I introns among the T-even-like bacteriophages.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology , 2004. Vol. 279, no 21, 22218-22227 p.
Research subject Molecular Biotechnology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-23266DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M400929200OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-23266DiVA: diva2:190999
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-2112004-08-262004-08-262010-01-07Bibliographically approved