The Tcp conjugation system of Clostridium perfringens

Jessica A. Wisniewski, Julian I. Rood

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Gram-positive pathogen Clostridium perfringens possesses a family of large conjugative plasmids that is typified by the tetracycline resistance plasmid pCW3. Since these plasmids may carry antibiotic resistance genes or genes encoding extracellular or sporulation-associated toxins, the conjugative transfer of these plasmids appears to be important for the epidemiology of C. perfringens-mediated diseases. Sequence analysis of members of this plasmid family identified a highly conserved 35 kb region that encodes proteins with various functions, including plasmid replication and partitioning. The tcp conjugation locus also was identified in this region, initially based on low-level amino acid sequence identity to conjugation proteins from the integrative conjugative element Tn916. Genetic studies confirmed that the tcp locus is required for conjugative transfer and combined with biochemical and structural analyses have led to the development of a functional model of the Tcp conjugation apparatus. This review summarises our current understanding of the Tcp conjugation system, which is now one of the best-characterized conjugation systems in Gram-positive bacteria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-36
Number of pages9
JournalPlasmid
Volume91
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017

Keywords

  • Clostridium perfringens
  • Conjugation
  • Gram positive
  • Plasmid
  • Tcp
  • Toxin
  • Type 4 secretion system (T4SS)

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