Current Genetics

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 43–47 | Cite as

A group I intron in the chloroplast large subunit rRNA gene of Chlamydomonas eugametos encodes a double-strand endonuclease that cleaves the homing site of this intron

  • Antonin Gauthier
  • Monique Turmel
  • Claude Lemieux
Original Articles


During interspecific crosses between Chlamydomonas eugametos and Chlamydomonas moewusii, an optional group I intron of 955 base pairs (CeLSU· 5) in the C. eugametos chloroplast large subunit rRNA gene undergoes a duplicative transposition event which is associated with frequent co-conversion of flanking cpDNA sequences. In the present study, we show that the basic protein of 218 amino acids encoded by CeLSU· 5 could mediate the phenomenon of intron transposition, also called intron homing. We overexpressed the ORF specifying this protein in E. coli using expression vectors that contain a C. moewusii cpDNA sequence encompassing the intron homing site. The expression product was found to exhibit a double-strand DNA endonuclease activity that is specific for the homing site. This activity was detected in vivo by self-linearization of the expression plasmids.

Key words

Mobile intron Intron homing endonuclease Gene conversion Recognition site 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonin Gauthier
    • 1
  • Monique Turmel
    • 1
  • Claude Lemieux
    • 1
  1. 1.Départment de biochimie, Faculté des Sciences et de GénieUniversité LavalQuébecCanada

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