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Mol Microbiol. 2002 Mar;43(6):1651-6.

Studies on the role of the metK gene product of Escherichia coli K-12.

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Biology Department, Concordia University, 1455 de Maisonneuve Avenue, Montreal, Quebec H3G 1M8, Canada.


We show here that the metK gene is essential to the growth of Escherichia coli K-12 and can be deleted only in the presence of a rescue plasmid carrying a functional metK gene. When metK expression was limited, genomic DNA methylation decreased and cell division was hampered. Through primer extension, the transcription start site of metK was located at 140 bp upstream of the translation start site. The frequently used metK84 mutant has been shown to carry an A(r)G transition in the -10 region of the metK promoter. This accounts for its low level of S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) synthetase and SAM deficiency.

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