Identification and characterization of twouvrAgenes ofXanthomonas axonopodispathovar citri

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Two uvrA-like genes, designated uvrA1 and uvrA2, that may be involved in nucleotide excision repair in Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. citri (X. a. pv. citri) strain XW47 were characterized. The uvrA1 gene was found to be 2,964 bp in length capable of encoding a protein of 987 amino acids. The uvrA2 gene was determined to be 2,529 bp with a coding potential of 842 amino acids. These two proteins share 71 and 39% identity, respectively, in amino acid sequence with the UvrA protein of Escherichia coli. Analyses of the deduced amino acid sequence revealed that UvrA1 and UvrA2 have structures characteristic of UvrA proteins, including the Walker A and Walker B motifs, zinc finger DNA binding domains, and helix-turn-helix motif with a polyglycine hinge region. The uvrA1 or uvrA2 mutant, constructed by gene replacement, was more sensitive to DNA-damaging agents methylmethane sulfonate (MMS), mitomycin C (MMC), or ultraviolet (UV) than the wild type. The uvrA1 mutant was four orders of magnitude more sensitive to UV irradiation and two orders of magnitude more sensitive to MMS than the uvrA2 mutant. The uvrA1uvrA2 double mutant was one order of magnitude more sensitive to MMS, MMC, or UV than the uvrA1 single mutant. These results suggest that UvrA1 plays a more important role than UvrA2 in DNA repair in X. a. pv. citri. Both uvrA1 and uvrA2 genes were found to be constitutively expressed in the wild type and lexA1 or lexA2 mutant of X. a. pv. citri, and treatment of these cells with sublethal dose of MMC did not alter the expression of these two genes. Results of electrophoresis mobility shift assays revealed that LexA1 or LexA2 does not bind to either the uvrA1 or the uvrA2 promoter. These results suggest that uvrA expression in X. a. pv. citri is not regulated by the SOS response system.

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