The Staphylococcus aureus transposon Tn551: complete nucleotide sequence and transcriptional analysis of the expression of the erythromycin resistance gene

Microb Drug Resist. Spring 1999;5(1):1-7. doi: 10.1089/mdr.1999.5.1.


The complete nucleotide sequence of Staphylococcus aureus transposon Tn551 was determined. The 5,266-bp sequence encoded five putative proteins. Comparison of the nucleotide sequence of Tn551 with that of the enterococcal transposon Tn917 showed that the two transposons were 99.8% identical and differed only at 11 positions along the entire sequence. The genetic organization of Tn551 was also identical to that of Tn917. Northern analysis of RNA prepared from a staphylococcal strain bearing Tn551 displayed three erm-associated transcripts that were constitutively produced. Mapping of the 5' ends of the transcripts by primer extension suggested that the constitutive transcription of erm was initiated from a nucleotide located 5 bp downstream of ORF1. A second set of three erythromycin-inducible transcripts was also detected and these showed a pattern similar to that described for Tn917. A simple and rapid method is described for the use of the Tn551 sequence information in sequencing transposon-inactivated staphylococcal genes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Base Sequence*
  • DNA Transposable Elements*
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial / genetics*
  • Enterococcus / genetics
  • Enterococcus / metabolism
  • Erythromycin / pharmacology*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • Restriction Mapping
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects
  • Staphylococcus aureus / genetics*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / metabolism
  • Transcription, Genetic*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Erythromycin

Associated data

  • GENBANK/Y13600