Recombination, repair and replication in the pathogenic Neisseriae: The 3 R's of molecular genetics of two human-specific bacterial pathogens

Kimberly A. Kline, Eric V. Sechman, Eric P. Skaar, H. Steven Seifert*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalShort survey

73 Scopus citations


Most of the detailed mechanisms that have been established for the molecular biological processes that mediate recombination, repair and replication of DNA have come from studies of the Escherichia coli paradigm. The human specific pathogens, Neisseria gonorrhoeae and N. meningitidis, are Gram-negative bacteria that have some molecular processes that are similar to E. coli and others that appear to be divergent. We propose that the pathogenic Neisseriae have evolved a specialized collection of molecular mechanisms to adapt to life limited to human hosts. In this MicroReview, we explore what is known about the basic processes of DNA repair, DNA recombination (genetic exchange and pilin variation) and DNA replication in these human specific pathogens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-13
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Microbiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 1 2003


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology

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