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Identification in methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus hominis of an active primordial mobile genetic element for the staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

ABSTRACT: We previously reported that the methicillin resistance gene mecA is carried by a novel type of mobile genetic element, SCCmec (staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec), in the chromosome of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). These elements are precisely excised from the chromosome and integrated into a specific site on the recipient chromosome by a pair of recombinase proteins encoded by the cassette chromosome recombinase genes ccrA and ccrB. In the present work, we detected homologues of the ccr genes in Staphylococcus hominis type strain GIFU12263 (equivalent to ATCC 27844), which is susceptible to methicillin. Sequence determination revealed that the ccr homologues in S. hominis were type 1 ccr genes (ccrA1 and ccrB1) that were localized on a genetic element structurally very similar to SCCmec except for the absence of the methicillin-resistance gene, mecA. This genetic element had mosaic-like patterns of homology with extant SCCmec elements, and we designated it SCC(12263) and considered it a type I staphylococcal cassette chromosome (SCC). The ccrB1 gene identified in the S. hominis strain is the first type 1 ccrB gene discovered to retain its function through the excision process as judged by two criteria: (i) SCC(12263) was spontaneously excised during cultivation of the strain and (ii) introduction of the S. hominis ccrB1 into an MRSA strain carrying a type I SCCmec whose ccrB1 gene is inactive generated SCCmec excisants at a high frequency. The existence of an SCC without a mec determinant is indicative of a staphylococcal site-specific mobile genetic element that serves as a vehicle of transfer for various genetic markers between staphylococcal species.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC154413 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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