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J Bacteriol. 1992 Aug;174(16):5258-64.

The essential Escherichia coli msgB gene, a multicopy suppressor of a temperature-sensitive allele of the heat shock gene grpE, is identical to dapE.

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Department of Cellular, Viral and Molecular Biology, School of Medicine, Univeristy of Utah, Salt Lake City 84132.


The grpE gene product is one of three Escherichia coli heat shock proteins (DnaK, DnaJ, and GrpE) that are essential for both bacteriophage lambda DNA replication and bacterial growth at all temperatures. In an effort to determine the role of GrpE and to identify other factors that it may interact with, we isolated multicopy suppressors of the grpE280 point mutation, as judged by their ability to reverse the temperature-sensitive phenotype of grpE280. Here we report the characterization of one of them, designated msgB. The msgB gene maps at approximately 53 min on the E. coli chromosome. The minimal gene possesses an open reading frame that encodes a protein with a predicted size of 41,269 M(r). This open reading frame was confirmed the correct one by direct amino-terminal sequence analysis of the overproduced msgB gene product. Genetic experiments demonstrated that msgB is essential for E. coli growth in the temperature range of 22 to 37 degrees C. Through a sequence homology search, MsgB was shown to be identical to N-succinyl-L-diaminopimelic acid desuccinylase (the dapE gene product), which participates in the diaminopimelic acid-lysine pathway involved in cell wall biosynthesis. Consistent with this finding, the msgB null allele mutant is viable only when the growth medium is supplemented with diaminopimelic acid. These results suggest that GrpE may have a previously unsuspected function(s) in cell wall biosynthesis in E. coli.

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