Lien vers Pubmed [PMID] – 38215203
Lien vers HAL – hal-04397951
Lien DOI – 10.1126/sciadv.adj3498
Science Advances , 2024, 10 (2), pp.eadj3498. ⟨10.1126/sciadv.adj3498⟩
Integrons are adaptive bacterial devices that rearrange promoter-less gene cassettes into variable ordered arrays under stress conditions, thereby sampling combinatorial phenotypic diversity. Chromosomal integrons often carry hundreds of silent gene cassettes, with integrase-mediated recombination leading to rampant DNA excision and integration, posing a potential threat to genome integrity. How this activity is regulated and controlled, particularly through selective pressures, to maintain such large cassette arrays is unknown. Here, we show a key role of promoter-containing toxin-antitoxin (TA) cassettes as systems that kill the cell when the overall cassette excision rate is too high. These results highlight the importance of TA cassettes regulating the cassette recombination dynamics and provide insight into the evolution and success of integrons in bacterial genomes.