DNA Homology Between the Arsenate Resistance Plasmid pSX267 From Staphylococcus Xylosus and the Penicillinase Plasmid pI258 From Staphylococcus Aureus

Plasmid. 1983 Mar;9(2):126-37. doi: 10.1016/0147-619x(83)90015-x.


A 29.5-kb plasmid, pSX267, from Staphylococcus xylosus DSM 20267 was found to code for arsenate, arsenite, and antimony (III) resistance. The isolated plasmid was transformed into S. aureus, where the same resistances were expressed. It was of special interest to see whether pSX267 showed any DNA sequence homology with the well-studied penicillinase plasmid from S. aureus pI258, also conferring arsenate, arsenite, and antimony III resistance. By the use of the Southern blotting technique, it was found that DNA sequence homology exists in the region of arsenate, arsenite, and antimony resistance, in addition to the region where the origin of replication, the incompatibility, and the replication A function were mapped on pI258. This finding was confirmed by electron microscope heteroduplex analysis, which allowed a correlation between the genetic and physical maps of pI258 and pSX267. Duplex DNA was formed at the arsenate operon of pI258, with a length of 2.6 kb, and at the incompatibility and replication A region, comprising a length of 2.5 kb. Adjacent to this latter region, two small regions of DNA homology were present, with lengths of 0.2 and 0.27 kb. Both plasmids share approximately 20% DNA sequence homology. The DNA homology of the arsenate, arsenite, and antimony III resistance coding regions between pI258 and pSX267 indicate that these plasmid-determined resistance markers are highly conserved and distributed among different staphylococcal species.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antimony / pharmacology
  • Arsenates / pharmacology*
  • Arsenic / pharmacology*
  • Arsenites*
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics*
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial
  • Nucleic Acid Heteroduplexes / genetics
  • Penicillinase / genetics
  • Plasmids*
  • Staphylococcus / drug effects
  • Staphylococcus / genetics*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / genetics


  • Arsenates
  • Arsenites
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Nucleic Acid Heteroduplexes
  • Antimony
  • Penicillinase
  • arsenite
  • Arsenic
  • arsenic acid