Table of Contents
International Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 685015, 30 pages
Research Article

Distribution of Genes Encoding Nucleoid-Associated Protein Homologs in Plasmids

1Biotechnology Research Center, The University of Tokyo, 1-1-1 Yayoi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8657, Japan
2Agricultural Bioinformatics Research Unit, The University of Tokyo, 1-1-1 Yayoi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8657, Japan
3Japan Collection of Microorganisms, RIKEN Bioresource Center, 2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198, Japan

Received 14 October 2010; Accepted 27 November 2010

Academic Editor: Hiromi Nishida

Copyright © 2011 Toshiharu Takeda et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Bacterial nucleoid-associated proteins (NAPs) form nucleoprotein complexes and influence the expression of genes. Recent studies have shown that some plasmids carry genes encoding NAP homologs, which play important roles in transcriptional regulation networks between plasmids and host chromosomes. In this study, we determined the distributions of the well-known NAPs Fis, H-NS, HU, IHF, and Lrp and the newly found NAPs MvaT and NdpA among the whole-sequenced 1382 plasmids found in Gram-negative bacteria. Comparisons between NAP distributions and plasmid features (size, G+C content, and putative transferability) were also performed. We found that larger plasmids frequently have NAP gene homologs. Plasmids with H-NS gene homologs had less G+C content. It should be noted that plasmids with the NAP gene homolog also carried the relaxase gene involved in the conjugative transfer of plasmids more frequently than did those without the NAP gene homolog, implying that plasmid-encoded NAP homologs positively contribute to transmissible plasmids.