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1.  Novel RepA-MCM proteins encoded in plasmids pTAU4, pORA1 and pTIK4 from Sulfolobus neozealandicus  
Archaea  2004;1(5):319-325.
Three plasmids isolated from the crenarchaeal thermoacidophile Sulfolobus neozealandicus were characterized. Plasmids pTAU4 (7,192 bp), pORA1 (9,689 bp) and pTIK4 (13,638 bp) show unusual properties that distinguish them from previously characterized cryptic plasmids of the genus Sulfolobus. Plasmids pORA1 and pTIK4 encode RepA proteins, only the former of which carries the novel polymerase–primase domain of other known Sulfolobus plasmids. Plasmid pTAU4 encodes a mini-chromosome maintenance protein homolog and no RepA protein; the implications for DNA replication are considered. Plasmid pORA1 is the first Sulfolobus plasmid to be characterized that does not encode the otherwise highly conserved DNA-binding PlrA protein. Another encoded protein appears to be specific for the New Zealand plasmids. The three plasmids should provide useful model systems for functional studies of these important crenarchaeal proteins.
PMCID: PMC2685554  PMID: 15876565
chemotaxis; crenarchaeal plasmid; DNA replicase; MCM protein
2.  Genomic comparison of archaeal conjugative plasmids from Sulfolobus  
Archaea  2004;1(4):231-239.
All of the known self-transmissable plasmids of the Archaea have been found in the genus Sulfolobus. To gain more insight into archaeal conjugative processes, four newly isolated self-transmissable plasmids, pKEF9, pHVE14, pARN3 and pARN4, were sequenced and subjected to a comparative sequence analysis with two earlier sequenced plasmids, pNOB8 and pING1. The analyses revealed three conserved and functionally distinct sections in the genomes. Section A is considered to encode the main components of the conjugative apparatus, where two genes show low but significant sequence similarity to sections of genes encoding bacterial conjugative proteins. A putative origin of replication is located in section B, which is highly conserved in sequence and contains several perfect and imperfect direct and inverted repeats. Further downstream, in section C, an operon encoding six to nine smaller proteins is implicated in the initiation and regulation of replication. Each plasmid carries an integrase gene of the type that does not partition on integration, and there is strong evidence for their integration into host chromosomes, where they may facilitate intercellular exchange of chromosomal genes. Two plasmids contain hexameric short regularly spaced repeats (SRSR), which have been implicated in plasmid maintenance, and each plasmid carries multiple recombination motifs, concentrated in the variable regions, which likely provide sites for genomic rearrangements.
PMCID: PMC2685578  PMID: 15810432
pARN3; pARN4; pHVE14; pKEF9; SRSR cluster

Results 1-2 (2)