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J Bacteriol. 1985 Apr;162(1):256-62.

Evidence that the outer membrane protein gene nmpC of Escherichia coli K-12 lies within the defective qsr' prophage.


Recombinants between phage lambda and the defective qsr' prophage of Escherichia coli K-12 were made in an nmpC (p+) mutant strain and in the nmpC+ parent. The outer membrane of strains lysogenic for recombinant qsr' phage derived from the nmpC (p+) strain contained a new protein identical in electrophoretic mobility to the NmpC porin and to the Lc porin encoded by phage PA-2. Lysogens of qsr' recombinants from the nmpC+ strain and lysogens of lambda p4, which carries the qsr' region, did not produce this protein. When observed by electron microscopy, the DNA acquired from the qsr' prophage showed homology with the region of the DNA molecule of phage PA-2 which contains the lc gene. Relative to that of the recombinant from the nmpC (p+) mutant, the DNA molecule of the recombinant from the nmpC+ parent contained an insertion near the lc gene. These results were supported by blot hybridization analysis of the E. coli chromosome with probes derived from the lc gene of phage PA-2. A sequence homologous to the lc gene was found at the nmpC locus, and the parental strains contained an insertion, tentatively identified as IS5B, located near the 3' end of the porin coding sequence. We conclude that the structural gene for the NmpC porin protein is located within the defective qsr' prophage at 12.5 min on the E. coli K-12 map and that this gene can be activated by loss of an insertion element.

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