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Curr Genet. 1987;11(6-7):491-8.

The complex Arom locus of Aspergillus nidulans. Evidence for multiple gene fusions and convergent evolution.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, University of Leicester, UK.


The physical positions of the DNA sequences encoding the five consecutive enzyme activities required to metabolise 3-deoxy-D-arabino-heptulosonic acid-7-phosphate to 5-enolpyruvyl-shikimate-3phosphate, which are encoded by the A. nidulans Arom polypeptide have been determined. Subfragments of the Arom locus encoding EPSP synthase and 3-dehydroquinase have been expressed in appropriate E. coli aro mutants. The DNA sequence of the A. nidulans Arom locus has been shown to have homology with the corresponding unlinked E. coli aro loci strongly suggesting (I) divergent evolution from common ancestral sequences and (II) that the complex A. nidulans Arom locus arose by multiple gene fusion. The DNA and protein sequence of the two 3-dehydroquinase isoenzymes of A. nidulans share no homology, strongly indicating separate phylogenetic origins and their convergent evolution. The 5' and 3' non-translated DNA sequence of the A. nidulans Arom locus is presented along with the presumed sites for transcription initiation and polyadenylation determined by S1 nuclease protection experiments.

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