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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1987 Oct;84(19):6639-43.

Overproduction and purification of the luxR gene product: Transcriptional activator of the Vibrio fischeri luminescence system.

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1
Department of Microbiology, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.

Abstract

Expression of Vibrio fischeri luminescence genes requires an inducer, termed autoinducer, and a positive regulatory element, the luxR gene product. A plasmid containing luxR under control of a tac promoter was engineered to overproduce this gene product. The overproduced luxR gene product was active in vivo, and its apparent monomeric molecular weight was indistinguishable from that of the protein encoded by luxR under control of its own promoter (M(r) 27,000). The new tac-luxR construct directed the synthesis of large quantities of the luxR gene product in induced Escherichia coli cells lacking other lux genes. In the presence of the other lux genes, overexpression of the tac-luxR construct was not detected. The overproduced luxR gene product, which formed cytoplasmic inclusion bodies, was purified and used in subsequent studies. Nonequilibrium pH gradient electrophoresis indicated that the protein was basic, and the amino-terminal 15 amino acids were sequenced. DNA-binding activity was detected by membrane filter binding assays; under the conditions used, the binding was not lux DNA-specific. Binding of tritium-labeled autoinducer to the luxR gene product was not detected, and autoinducer enhancement of the binding of the luxR gene product to DNA could not be detected reproducibly.

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