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J Mol Biol. 1991 Apr 20;218(4):723-33.

Functional and structural elements of the mRNA of the cIII gene of bacteriophage lambda.

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Department of Molecular Genetics, Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel.


The bacteriophage lambda cIII gene product is an early regulatory protein that participates in the lysis-lysogeny decision of the phage following infection. We have previously shown that the translation of the cIII gene is determined by two unique factors: (1) efficient expression is dependent upon the presence of RNaseIII in the cell; (2) alternative mRNA structures of the cIII coding region determine the rate of its translation initiation. In this study we demonstrate the presence of the alternative mRNA structures in vivo. The presence of minor RNaseIII cleavage sites within this region indicate that RNaseIII can differentiate between the two alternative structures. We localize by a deletion analysis the RNaseIII responsive element to the cIII coding region, and suggest that regulation of cIII translation by RNaseIII is achieved through binding to the alternative structures region of the mRNA.

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