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J Mol Biol. 1992 Jul 5;226(1):69-83.

Isorepressor of the gal regulon in Escherichia coli.

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Laboratory of Molecular Biology, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892.


Inducible overexpression of the Escherichia coli gal operon in the absence of the Gal repressor is known as ultrainduction. The requirement of induction can be eliminated by mutation of a new locus, galS, resulting in constitutive and ultrainduced levels of gal expression. Characterization of the galS gene and its product has revealed an isorepressor of the gal regulon. The Gal isorepressor is a protein of 346 amino acid residues whose amino acid sequence and cellular function, as described here, are very similar to that of Gal repressor, encoded by the galR gene. Transcription from different promoters of the gal regulon, galP1, galP2 and mglP, was examined by primer extension and reverse transcription of mRNA isolated from strains containing mutations in galR and/or galS. In strains containing a galS mutation, overexpression of gal message occurred only in the presence of inducer, while mgl message was constitutively derepressed. The galS mutation also constitutively derepressed an mglA::lacZ fusion, demonstrating that GalS is the mgl repressor. A potential operator site in the mgl promoter was identified at a position analogous to OE in gal. Thus, the gal and mgl operons constitute a regulon. Crosstalk, temporal action, induction spectrum or heteromer formation between repressor and isorepressor may help co-ordinate high affinity galactose transport and galactose utilization.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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