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Mol Microbiol. 2006 Aug;61(4):883-97. Epub 2006 Jul 12.

Increased expression of ribosome recycling factor is responsible for the enhanced protein synthesis during the late growth phase in an antibiotic-overproducing Streptomyces coelicolor ribosomal rpsL mutant.

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National Food Research Institute, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.


K88E mutation within rpsL, which encodes the S12 ribosomal protein, enhanced the protein synthetic activity of Streptomyces coelicolor during the late growth phase, resulting in overproduction of the deep blue-pigmented polyketide antibiotic actinorhodin. In vitro cross-mixing experiments using the ribosomal and S-150 fractions derived from wild-type and K88E mutant strains suggested that one or more translation factors are enriched in the mutant's S-150 fraction, while Western analysis using antibodies against various translation factors revealed ribosome recycling factor (RRF) to be one of the enriched mediators. RRF purified from overexpressing cells stimulated mRNA-directed green fluorescent protein (GFP) synthesis in an in vitro protein synthesis system. GFP synthesis rates were complemented by RRF addition into wild-type cell's S-150 fraction, eliminating the difference between wild-type and mutant S-150 fractions. The frr gene encoding RRF was found to be transcribed from two distinct start points (frrp1 and frrp2), and increased expression from frrp1 could account for the elevated level of RRF in the K88E mutant during the late growth phase. Moreover, introduction of a plasmid harbouring a high copy number of frr gene into wild-type S. coelicolor induced remarkable overproduction of antibiotic, demonstrating that the increased levels of RRF caused by the K88E mutation is responsible for an aberrant stationary-phase event: overproduction of antibiotic.

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