, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 196-201

Mobile Gene Cassettes and Integrons

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Integrons are unique natural systems for capturing and spreading the antibiotic resistance genes among Gram-negative bacteria. Gene transfer into small genomes and into plasmids is via site-specific recombination. Integrons act as receptors of antibiotic resistance cassettes. There are known more than 50 cassettes conferring resistance to β-lactams, aminoglycosides, trimethoprim, chloramphenicol, streptomycin, and other antibiotics. The structure of integrons and of gene cassettes are described and the mechanisms of capture, mobilization, and expression of cassettes considered.