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J Bacteriol. 1992 Nov;174(21):6938-47.

Two novel heat shock genes encoding proteins produced in response to heterologous protein expression in Escherichia coli.

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  • 1Monsanto Corporate Research, St. Louis, Missouri 63198.


In Escherichia coli high-level production of some heterologous proteins (specifically, human prorenin, renin, and bovine insulin-like growth factor 2) resulted in the induction of two new E. coli heat shock proteins, both of which have molecular masses of 16 kDa and are tightly associated with inclusion bodies formed during heterologous protein production. We named these inclusion body-associated proteins IbpA and IbpB. The coding sequences for IbpA and IbpB were identified and isolated from the Kohara E. coli gene bank. The genes for these proteins (ibpA and ibpB) are located at 82.5 min on the chromosome. Nucleotide sequencing of the two genes revealed that they are transcribed in the same direction and are separated by 110 bp. Putative Shine-Dalgarno sequences are located upstream from the initiation codons of both genes. A putative heat shock promoter is located upstream from ibpA, and a putative transcription terminator is located downstream from ibpB. A temperature upshift experiment in which we used a wild-type E. coli strain and an isogenic rpoH mutant strain indicated that a sigma 32-containing RNA polymerase is involved in the regulation of expression of these genes. There is 57.5% identity between the genes at the nucleotide level and 52.2% identity at the amino acid level. A search of the protein data bases showed that both of these 16-kDa proteins exhibit low levels of homology to low-molecular-weight heat shock proteins from eukaryotic species.

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