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J Bacteriol. Oct 1994; 176(20): 6192–6198.
PMCID: PMC196958

Ribosomal protein gene sequence changes in erythromycin-resistant mutants of Escherichia coli.


The genes for ribosomal proteins L4 and L22 from two erythromycin-resistant mutants of Escherichia coli have been isolated and sequenced. In the L4 mutant, an A-to-G transition in codon 63 predicted a Lys-to-Glu change in the protein. In the L22 strain, a 9-bp deletion removed codons 82 to 84, eliminating the sequence Met-Lys-Arg from the protein. Consistent with these DNA changes, in comparison with wild-type proteins, both mutant proteins had reduced first-dimension mobilities in two-dimensional polyacrylamide gels. Complementation of each mutation by a wild-type gene on a plasmid vector resulted in increased erythromycin sensitivity in the partial-diploid strains. The fraction of ribosomes containing the mutant form of the protein was increased by growth in the presence of erythromycin. Erythromycin binding was increased by the fraction of wild-type protein present in the ribosome population. The strain with the L4 mutation was found to be cold sensitive for growth at 20 degrees C, and 50S-subunit assembly was impaired at this temperature. The mutated sequences are highly conserved in the corresponding proteins from a number of species. The results indicate the participation of these proteins in the interaction of erythromycin with the ribosome.

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