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Mol Gen Genet. 1986 Aug;204(2):322-7.

In vivo loss of supercoiled DNA carrying a palindromic sequence.


Interest in the fate of long palindromic DNA sequences in E. coli has been kindled by the observation that their inviability is overcome in recBC sbcB strains and that these hosts permit the construction of DNA libraries containing long palindromic sequences present in the human genome. In this paper we show that a reduction in the level of intracellular supercoiled DNA occurs as the result of the presence of a 530 bp palindrome in bacteriophage lambda. This reduction occurs in Rec+ and recA strains but not in strains lacking exonucleases V and I (recBC sbcB). However, the DNA must be active (not repressed) for this reduction to be observed, since it is not seen in a Rec+ host lysogenic for phage lambda. These results argue against two hypotheses: firstly, that the palindrome causes inviability solely by interfering with packaging, and secondly, that it does so solely by interfering with recombination. Conversely, these results suggest that a feature of active monomeric DNA (probably its replication) is involved in inviability.

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