Crosstalk between plasmid vegetative replication and conjugative transfer: Repression of the trfA operon by trbA of broad host range plasmid RK2

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Grazyna Jagura-burdzy
  • Farhat Khanim
  • Christopher A. Smith
  • Christopher M. Thomas

External organisations

  • University of Birmingham


Previous deletion and complementation analysis has indicated that the region between trfA and kllBI (trbB) encodes trans-acting factor, designated trbA, required for conjugative transfer of broad host range plasmid RK2. In analysing the nucleotide sequence of this region we have discovered a gene encoding a 12 kDa polypeptide. The predicted amino acid sequence of this protein shows similarity at its C-terminal to KorA from the central control operon of RK2 and at its N-terminal to immunity repressor protein from phage ø105 of Bacillus subtllls as well as the Sin protein of B.subtills which regulates alternate developmental processes including sporulation, motility and competence. We show that TrbA represses transcription of both trfA (vegetative replication) and kllBI (trbB) (required for conjugative transfer and whose product has similarity to ComG, required for competence of B.subtills) and may help to coordinate expression of both sets of functions. This region has similarities to some temperate bacteriophage immunity regions in modulating divergent transcription required for alternative means of propagation.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3939-3944
Number of pages6
JournalNucleic Acids Research
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 11 Aug 1992

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