Molecular Life Sciences

2018 Edition
| Editors: Robert D. Wells, Judith S. Bond, Judith Klinman, Bettie Sue Siler Masters

Rolling Circle Replicating Plasmids

  • Gloria del Solar
  • Cris Fernández-López
  • José Angel Ruiz-Masó
  • Fabián Lorenzo-Díaz
  • Manuel Espinosa
Reference work entry


The replication of plasmids by the rolling circle replication mechanism represents one of the simplest strategies, relying as it does on nicking one strand to generate the primer for leading strand initiation and on a single priming site for lagging strand synthesis. The generation of single-stranded intermediates, which are potentially unstable and can also induce SOS response, means that there is selection against such plasmids growing very large. Their genomes therefore consist of a number of basic elements: leading strand initiation and control, lagging strand origin, phenotypic determinants, and mobilization generally in that order of frequency. Although phenotypic determinants may be part of transposable elements, it also appears that recombination mediated by short repeated sequences can drive construction and reassortment of plasmid cassettes. This can create enigmatic variations where core functions may exhibit high conservation while being interspersed with totally...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gloria del Solar
    • 1
  • Cris Fernández-López
    • 1
  • José Angel Ruiz-Masó
    • 1
  • Fabián Lorenzo-Díaz
    • 2
  • Manuel Espinosa
    • 1
  1. 1.Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, CSICMadridSpain
  2. 2.Unidad de Investigación, Hospital Universitario Nuestra Señora de Candelaria and Instituto Universitario de Enfermedades Tropicales y Salud Pública de Canarias, Centro de Investigaciones Biomédicas de CanariasUniversidad de La LagunaSanta Cruz de TenerifeSpain