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© Melanie Blokesch, EPFL
Flagellated Vibrio cholerae
Publication : Annual review of genetics

Integrons

Scientific Fields
Diseases
Organisms
Applications
Technique

Published in Annual review of genetics - 01 Jan 2010

Cambray G, Guerout AM, Mazel D

Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 20707672

Annu. Rev. Genet. 2010;44:141-66

Integrons are genetic elements able to acquire and rearrange open reading frames (ORFs) embedded in gene cassette units and convert them to functional genes by ensuring their correct expression. They were originally identified as a mechanism used by Gram-negative bacteria to collect antibiotic resistance genes and express multiple resistance phenotypes in synergy with transposons. More recently, their role has been broadened with the discovery of chromosomal integron (CI) structures in the genomes of hundreds of bacterial species. This review focuses on the resources carried in these elements, on their unique recombination mechanisms, and on the different mechanisms controlling the cassette dynamics. We discuss the role of the toxin/antitoxin (TA) cassettes for the stabilization of the large cassette arrays carried in the larger CIs, known as superintegrons. Finally, we explore the central role played by single-stranded DNA in the integron cassette dynamics in light of the recent discovery that the integron integrase expression is controlled by the SOS response.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20707672