, 1987), pMV158 (Kramer et al, 1995) and pM4

(Yin et al

, 1987), pMV158 (Kramer et al., 1995) and pM4

(Yin et al., 2009) were shown to display remarkably decreased plasmid copy number Pirfenidone and accumulation of single-stranded DNA, while formation of multimers was not reported. We aimed to investigate whether deletion of the ssi of pHW126, in addition to multimerization, also induces accumulation of ssDNA, but failed to detect this molecular species by Southern blot analysis (data not shown). However, it must be emphasized that the amounts of ssDNA formed by several rolling circle may be very low. For instance, pMV158 replicating in Streptococcus pneumoniae forms minute amounts (Kramer et al., 1995) and in the case of pMV158 replicating in Bacillus subtilis (Kramer et al., 1995) or pGT232 (Heng et al., 1999), the abundance is undetectably find more low. In Rahnella cells containing wild-type pHW126, the ssDNA is likely converted efficiently to dsDNA by the ssi. In constructs lacking the ssi lagging strand synthesis may be primed to some extend at other sites and remaining ssDNA molecules may undergo recombination with ds plasmids

to form di- and multimers as single-stranded DNA is known to be highly recombinogenic (Persky & Lovett, 2008). Rapid multimerization has been reported for different rolling circle plasmids with a failure in termination of replication caused either by specific mutations in the rep gene (Projan et al., 1987; Bidnenko et al., 1993) or by a deletion of a signal in the 5′ part of the replication origin (Yasukawa et al., 1998). Both reasons can be excluded for our pHW126 derivatives because: (1) sequencing confirmed the absence of any mutations within the rep gene, (2) increasing the distance between the replication origin and the accessory region to more than 1 kb had only minor effects [in case of pKYM insertion of even 27 bp induced massive multimerization (Yasukawa et al., 1998)] and (3) the multimerization phenotype could be rescued by including the functional ssi signal of pHW15. Furthermore, insertion

of foreign DNA into rolling circle plasmids may cause formation of high-molecular weight plasmid multimers by an as yet unknown mechanism (Gruss & Ehrlich, 1988, 1989). This high-molecular weight DNA is believed to be composed of head-to-tail linear plasmid multimers (Gruss & Ehrlich, 1988). In contrast, Bay 11-7085 the multimers of pHW126 derivatives lacking the accessory region are clearly supercoiled circular DNA molecules. While multimers were rapidly formed from plasmid monomers, the reverse process was less efficient. Monomerization of dimers of rolling circle plasmids may happen if replication is initiated at one origin and terminated at the second origin (Gruss & Ehrlich, 1989). This has also been shown for pHW126 (Rozhon et al., 2010). However, the rate of this process seems to be insufficient to keep constructs lacking the accessory region as monomers.

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