Sequence and organization of pMAC, an Acinetobacter baumannii plasmid harboring genes involved in organic peroxide resistance

Plasmid. 2006 Sep;56(2):112-23. doi: 10.1016/j.plasmid.2006.01.004. Epub 2006 Mar 13.


Acinetobacter baumannii 19606 harbors pMAC, a 9540-bp plasmid that contains 11 predicted open-reading frames (ORFs). Cloning and transformation experiments using Acinetobacter calcoaceticus BD413 mapped replication functions within a region containing four 21-bp direct repeats (ori) and ORF 1, which codes for a predicted replication protein. Subcloning and tri-parental mating experiments mapped mobilization functions to the product of ORF 11 and an adjacent predicted oriT. Three ORFs code for proteins that share similarity to hypothetical proteins encoded by plasmid genes found in other bacteria, while the predicted products of three others do not match any known sequence. The product of ORF 8 is similar to Ohr, a hydroperoxide reductase responsible for organic peroxide detoxification and resistance in bacteria. This ORF is immediately upstream of a coding region whose product is related to the MarR family of transcriptional regulators. Disk diffusion assays showed that A. baumannii 19606 is resistant to the organic peroxide-generating compounds cumene hydroperoxide (CHP) and tert-butyl hydroperoxide (t-BHP), although to levels lower than those detected in Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1. Cloning and introduction of the ohr and marR ORFs into Escherichia coli was associated with an increase in resistance to CHP and t-BHP. This appears to be the first case in which the genetic determinants involved in organic peroxide resistance are located in an extrachromosomal element, a situation that can facilitate the horizontal transfer of genetic elements coding for a function that protects bacterial cells from oxidative damage.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acinetobacter baumannii / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • Benzene Derivatives
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA Primers
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial / genetics*
  • Gene Expression*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plasmids / genetics*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • tert-Butylhydroperoxide


  • Benzene Derivatives
  • DNA Primers
  • tert-Butylhydroperoxide
  • cumene hydroperoxide

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AY541809