Fernando de la Cruz

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Transmissible plasmids can be classified according to their mobilization ability, as being conjugative (self-transmissible) or mobilizable (transmissible only in the presence of additional conjugative functions). Naturally occurring mobilizable plasmids carry the genetic information necessary for relaxosome formation and processing, but lack the functions(More)
Plasmids are key vectors of horizontal gene transfer and essential genetic engineering tools. They code for genes involved in many aspects of microbial biology, including detoxication, virulence, ecological interactions, and antibiotic resistance. While many studies have decorticated the mechanisms of mobility in model plasmids, the identification and(More)
Bacterial conjugation is an efficient and sophisticated mechanism of DNA transfer among bacteria. While mobilizable plasmids only encode a minimal MOB machinery that allows them to be transported by other plasmids, conjugative plasmids encode a complete set of transfer genes (MOB1T4SS). The only essential ingredient of the MOB machinery is the relaxase, the(More)
The transfer of DNA across membranes and between cells is a central biological process; however, its molecular mechanism remains unknown. In prokaryotes, trans-membrane passage by bacterial conjugation, is the main route for horizontal gene transfer. It is the means for rapid acquisition of new genetic information, including antibiotic resistance by(More)
A family of cloning vectors derived from plasmid pACYC184 and, therefore, compatible with pBR322 and its derivatives (especially the pUC family of vectors), is described. They all contain a multiple cloning site (MCS) and the lacZ alpha reporter gene for easy cloning. They have been grouped in three sets: (i) six of the vectors contain a(More)
The Tn3 family of transposable elements is probably the most successful group of mobile DNA elements in bacteria: there are many different but related members and they are widely distributed in gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria. The Tn21 subgroup of the Tn3 family contains closely related elements that provide most of the currently known variation in(More)
Horizontal gene transfer shapes the genomes of prokaryotes by allowing rapid acquisition of novel adaptive functions. Conjugation allows the broadest range and the highest gene transfer input per transfer event. While conjugative plasmids have been studied for decades, the number and diversity of integrative conjugative elements (ICE) in prokaryotes(More)
Since its first description in 2000, CTX-M-14 has become one of the most widespread extended-spectrum beta-lactamases in Spain. In the present Escherichia coli multilevel population genetic study involving the characterization of phylogroups, clones, plasmids, and genetic platforms, 61 isolates from 16 hospitalized patients and 40 outpatients and healthy(More)
TrwB is the conjugative coupling protein of plasmid R388. TrwBDeltaN70 contains the soluble domain of TrwB. It was constructed by deletion of trwB sequences containing TrwB N-proximal transmembrane segments. Purified TrwBDeltaN70 protein bound tightly the fluorescent ATP analogue TNP-ATP (K(s) = 8.7 microM) but did not show measurable ATPase or GTPase(More)
TrwC is required for conjugal DNA transfer of the broad host range plasmid R388. The purified protein shows in vitro DNA helicase activity. Here we report that it also has in vitro oriT-endonuclease activity. TrwC specifically nicks oriT-containing supercoiled plasmid DNA in the presence of Mg2+, and the nicked DNA can be visualized after treatment with(More)