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J Bacteriol. 1990 Aug;172(8):4672-81.

Construction and properties of a temperature-sensitive mutation in the gene for the bacteriophage SPO1 DNA-binding protein TF1.

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  • 1Department of Biology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla 92093.


The Bacillus subtilis bacteriophage SPO1 encodes the DNA-binding protein TF1, a homolog of the ubiquitous type II DNA-binding proteins that are components of bacterial chromatin. The known three-dimensional structure of a related protein was used in devising a scheme of site-directed mutagenesis that led to the creation of a temperature-sensitive mutation in the TF1 gene. At the nonpermissive temperature, this mutation disrupted the temporal regulation of viral protein synthesis and processing, altered the kinetics of accumulation of at least one viral transcript, and prohibited the production of infective progeny phage. We suggest that TF1 function is required to shut off the expression of several early-middle and middle viral genes and that TF1 plays a role in phage head morphogenesis. Spontaneous second-site mutations of the temperature-sensitive mutant TF1 allele that suppressed its associated phenotypes were analyzed. These suppressor mutations conferred greater amino acid sequence homology with the type II DNA-binding protein from the thermophile Bacillus stearothermophilus.

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