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J Bacteriol. 1988 Oct;170(10):4619-24.

Determinations of the DNA sequence of the mreB gene and of the gene products of the mre region that function in formation of the rod shape of Escherichia coli cells.

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  • 1Institute of Applied Microbiology, University of Tokyo, Japan.


The 6.5-kilobase mre region at 71 min in the Escherichia coli chromosome map, where genes involved in formation of a rod-shaped cell form a gene cluster, was analyzed by in vivo protein synthesis in a maxicell system and by base sequencing of DNA. An open reading frame that may code for a protein with an Mr of about 37,000 on sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gels was found and was correlated with the mreB gene. N-terminal amino acid sequencing of the hybrid mreB-lacZ protein confirmed the production by mreB of a protein of 347 amino acid residues with a molecular weight of 36,958. The amino acid sequence of this protein deduced from the DNA sequence showed close similarity with that of a protein of the ftsA gene which is involved in cell division of E. coli. Three other contiguous genes that formed three proteins with Mrs of about 40,000, 22,000, and 51,000, respectively, were detected downstream of the mreB gene by in vivo protein synthesis. The mreB protein and some of these three proteins may function together in determination of cell shape.

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