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J Bacteriol. 1992 May;174(10):3242-9.

The lysP gene encodes the lysine-specific permease.

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Department of Biochemistry, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan 48201.


Escherichia coli transports lysine by two distinct systems, one of which is specific for lysine (LysP) and the other of which is inhibited by arginine ornithine. The activity of the lysine-specific system increases with growth in acidic medium, anaerobiosis, and high concentrations of lysine. It is inhibited by the lysine analog S-(beta-aminoethyl)-L-cysteine (thiosine). Thiosine-resistant (Tsr) mutants were isolated by using transpositional mutagenesis with TnphoA. A Tsr mutant expressing alkaline phosphatase activity in intact cells was found to lack lysine-specific transport. This lysP mutation was mapped to about 46.5 min on the E. coli chromosome. The lysP-phoA fusion was cloned and used as a probe to clone the wild-type lysP gene. The nucleotide sequence of the 2.7-kb BamHI fragment was determined. An open reading frame from nucleotides 522 to 1989 was observed. The translation product of this open reading frame is predicted to be a hydrophobic protein of 489 residues. The lysP gene product exhibits sequence similarity to a family of amino acid transport proteins found in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes, including the aromatic amino acid permease of E. coli (aroP) and the arginine permease of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (CAN1). Cells carrying a plasmid with the lysP gene exhibited a 10- to 20-fold increase in the rate of lysine uptake above wild-type levels. These results demonstrate that the lysP gene encodes the lysine-specific permease.

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