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.
|British Journal of Biomedical Science
|Published (in print/issue) - 2011