They were initially discovered in relation to antibiotic resistance.
- a gene encoding for a site-specific recombinase: intI, belonging to the integrase family
- a proximal recombination site: attI, which is recognized by the integrase and at which gene cassettes may be inserted
- a promoter: Pc, which directs transcription of cassette-encoded genes
Additionally, an integron will usually contain one or more gene cassettes that have been incorporated into it. The gene cassettes may encode genes for antibiotic resistance, although most genes in integrons are uncharacterized. An attC sequence (also called 59-be) is a repeat that flanks cassettes and enables cassettes to be integrated at the attI site, excised and undergo horizontal gene transfer.
The term super-integron was first applied in 1998 (but without definition) to the integron with a long cassette array on the small chromosome of Vibrio cholerae. The term has since been used for integrons of various cassette array lengths or for integrons on bacterial chromosomes (versus, for example, plasmids). Use of "super-integron" is now discouraged since its meaning is unclear.
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- Hall, R. M.; Stokes, HW (2004). "Integrons or super integrons?". Microbiology 150 (Pt 1): 3–4. doi:10.1099/mic.0.26854-0. PMID 14702391.
- Mazel, D.; Dychinco, B; Webb, VA; Davies, J (1998). "A Distinctive Class of Integron in the Vibrio cholerae Genome". Science 280 (5363): 605–8. doi:10.1126/science.280.5363.605. PMID 9554855.
- "Characterization of the Class 3 Integron and the Site-Specific Recombination System It Determines". Journal of Bacteriology 184 (11): 3017–3026. 2002. doi:10.1128/jb.184.11.3017-3026.2002.
- NCBI Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1998 Dec;42(12):3053-8. article Class 1 integron-borne multiple-antibiotic resistance carried by IncFI and IncL/M plasmids in Salmonella enterica serotype typhimurium
- Mazel, D. "Integrons: agents of bacterial evolution". Nature Reviews Microbiology 4 (8): 608–620. doi:10.1038/nrmicro1462.
- INTEGRALL - The Integron Database
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