Prevalence of clustered regulatory interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)-like sequences in mitis-group streptococci

Y. Maeda, C. E. Goldsmith, W. A. Coulter, C. Mason, James Dooley, Colm Lowery, W. J. Snelling, J. E. Moore

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Abstract

Clustered regulatory interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) have been discovered in many bacteria and archaea. Many CRISPR-like sequences have been identified in an increasing number of studies on the function of CRISPRs. One CRISPR-like sequence of approximately 240 base pairs has been found to be highly conserved within 11 genome sequences of Streptococcus pneumoniae. A specific CRISPR-like polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay was designed with the novel primers CRISPR 5F (forward primer) 5'-CTA ATY TCA TAA CCA TAR GAA TC-3' and CRISPR 3R (reverse primer) 5'-GAT AAR ATC CTY TAA WCT TCT AG-3' to detect the presence of this CRISPR-like sequence in pneumococci, as well as in viridans-group streptococci (VGS). This study investigates the prevalence of this CRISPR-like sequence in S. pneumoniae and 12 viridans-group streptococcal species and shows its existence to be shared by the majority of S. pneumoniae and, to a lesser extent, S. mitis. This CRISPR-like sequence was also found in S. australis and it is highly conserved among these strains, suggesting possible biological functional differences from true CRISPR because this CRISPR-like sequence has relatively few repeat numbers, and adjacent homology of CRISPR-associated (cas) genes was absent. The sharing of this CRISPR-like sequence between pneumococci, the mitis group and other VGS, as well as its high sequence homology, may suggest close evolutionary emergence of this sequence between these species.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-68
JournalBritish Journal of Biomedical Science
Volume68
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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