Evolutionary relationship between Tn21-like elements and pBP201, a plasmid from Klebsiella pneumoniae mediating resistance to gentamicin and eight other drugs

Mol Gen Genet. 1984;197(1):109-19. doi: 10.1007/BF00327930.


We have characterized pBP201 one of the plasmids from a collection of 46 strains producing adenylyltransferase ANT(2") (Schmidt 1984). It confers resistance to sulphonamides and produces aminoglycoside adenylyltransferases AAD(3") and ANT(2") and beta-lactamase TEM-1. Plasmid pBP201 has a size of 24.8 kilobases (kb) and contains TnA and a Tn21-related element, Tn4000 delta, with deletions in mer and the termini and a substitution at tnpR. In complementation assays with transposition-deficient mutants of Tn21 the element in pBP201 appears to be TnpA+ but TnpR-. It represents a naturally occurring defective transposon. The sequence organization of pBP201 has been compared with that of Tn21-related elements such as Tn2410, Tn2603, Tn2424, Tn1696, and Tn4000. In these transposons the integration sites of resistance genes cat, bla, aacA, aacC or aadB have been identified at two preferential locations; these are at the termini of the streptomycin resistance gene aadA. Two additional sites have been localized in the Tn21 backbone to the right of the mer operon and at res (internal resolution site) and are probably involved in the evolution of these elements. Based on these results a model for the possible genealogy of class II transposons is presented.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aminoglycosides / pharmacology
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Base Sequence
  • Biological Evolution
  • DNA Transposable Elements*
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / drug effects
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / genetics*
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Nucleotidyltransferases / genetics*
  • R Factors*
  • beta-Lactamases / genetics*


  • Aminoglycosides
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Nucleotidyltransferases
  • gentamicin 2''-nucleotidyltransferase
  • streptomycin 3''-adenylyltransferase
  • beta-Lactamases
  • beta-lactamase TEM-1