Campylobacter fetus uses multiple loci for DNA inversion within the 5′ conserved regions of sap homologs

Z. C. Tu, K. C. Ray, S. A. Thompson, M. J. Blaser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Campylobacter fetus cells possess multiple promoterless sap homologs, each capable of expressing a surface layer protein (SLP) by utilizing a unique promoter present on a 6.2-kb invertible element. Each sap homolog includes a 626-bp 5′ conserved region (FCR) with 74 bp upstream and 552 bp within the open reading frame. After DNA inversion, the splice is seamless because the FCRs are identical. In mutant strain 23D:ACA2K101, in which sapA and sapA2 flanking the invertible element in opposite orientations were disrupted by promoterless chloramphenicol resistance (Cmr) and kanamycin resistance (Kmr) cassettes, respectively, the frequency of DNA inversion is 100-fold lower than that of wild-type strain 23D. To define the roles of a 15-bp inverted repeat (IR) and a Chi-like site (CLS) in the FCR, we mutagenized each upstream of sapA2 in 23D:ACA2K101 by introducing NotI and KpnI sites to create strains 23D:ACA2K101N and 23D:ACA2K101K, respectively. Alternatively selecting colonies for Cmr or Kmr showed that mutagenizing the IR or CLS had no apparent effect on the frequency of the DNA inversion. However, mapping the unique NotI or KpnI site in relation to the Cmr or Kmr cassette in the cells that changed phenotype showed that splices occurred both upstream and downstream of the mutated sites. PCR and sequence analyses also showed that the splice could occur in the 425-bp portion of the FCR downstream of the cassettes. In total, these data indicate that C. fetus can use multiple sites within the FCR for its sap-related DNA inversion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6654-6661
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Bacteriology
Issue number22
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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