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J Bacteriol. Feb 1993; 175(4): 1110–1117.
PMCID: PMC193027

Mutations affecting the ability of Escherichia coli Lrp to bind DNA, activate transcription, or respond to leucine.


Lrp is a regulatory protein in Escherichia coli that increases expression of some operons and decreases expression of others. Mutations in Lrp were isolated on the basis of their effects on ilvIH, one of the operons regulated positively by Lrp. The ilvIH operon encodes an enzyme involved in the biosynthesis of leucine, valine, and isoleucine, and expression of this operon is repressed when cells are grown in the presence of leucine. Three groups of mutants were isolated. Mutant strains that were resistant to the repressive effects of leucine were termed leucine response mutants. These mutants had changes in the Lrp amino acid sequence between amino acid residues 108 and 149. Mutant strains having low expression of ilvIH in vivo were identified as colonies having reduced expression of a reporter gene. For some of these mutants, called DNA-binding mutants, binding to ilvIH DNA in vitro was markedly reduced. The mutations in these strains caused changes in Lrp between amino acids 16 and 70. Six of ten of these mutations were within a region having a putative helix-turn-helix motif. A third group of mutants had low ilvIH expression in vivo but apparently normal DNA binding in vitro. These mutants were called activation mutants since they affected the ability of Lrp to activate expression. Lrp from these strains had changes in amino acids between residues 76 and 125. This study suggests that Lrp has separate domains responsible for binding DNA, activating transcription, and responding to leucine.

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Selected References

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