Staphylococcal Cassette Chromosome mec-Like Element in


Macrococcus is a bacterial genus that is closely related to Staphylococcus, which typically is isolated from animal skin and products. The genome analysis of multidrug-resistant Macrococcus caseolyticus strain JCSC5402, isolated from chicken, previously led to the identification of plasmid pMCCL2, which carries a transposon containing an unusual form of the Macrococcus mec gene complex (mecAm-mecR1m-mecIm-blaZm). In M. caseolyticus strain JCSC7096, this mec transposon containing the mec gene complex (des-ignated Tn6045 in this study) was found integrated downstream of orfX on the chromosome. Tn6045 of JCSC7096 was bracketed by the direct repeat sequences (DR) specifically recognized by cassette chromo-some recombinase (CCR). A non-mecA-containing staphylococcal cassette chromosome (SCC) element, designated SCC7096, was integrated next to the mec transposon and separated from the latter by a DR. Nested PCR experiments showed that the mec transposon not only was excised singly but also coexcised with SCC7096 from the chromosome at the DRs. The coexcised elements formed the extrachromosomal closed circular DNA of the SCCmec-like element. SCCmec is known to be the mobile element conveying methicillin (meticillin) resistance in staphylococci. However, its origin has been unknown. Our observa-tion revealed a potential mechanism of the generation of a new SCCmec-like element in M. caseolyticus, a commensal bacterium of food animals

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