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J Bacteriol. Apr 1987; 169(4): 1663–1669.
PMCID: PMC211997

Use of TnphoA to detect genes for exported proteins in Escherichia coli: identification of the plasmid-encoded gene for a periplasmic acid phosphatase.


The structural gene (appA) for the periplasmic acid phosphatase (optimum pH 2.5) of Escherichia coli was cloned into a plasmid by using a combination of in vivo and in vitro techniques. The position and orientation of the appA gene within the cloned DNA fragment were identified by using fusions to the alkaline phosphatase gene (phoA) generated by Tn5 IS50L::phoA (TnphoA) insertions. For TnphoA-generated hybrid proteins to have high enzymatic activity, it appears that the phoA gene must be fused to a target gene coding for a signal which promotes protein export. The approach used to identify the appA gene thus appears to provide a simple general means of selectively identifying genes encoding membrane and secreted proteins.

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Selected References

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