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J Bacteriol. 1991 Aug;173(16):5079-85.

Importance of the position of TYR R boxes for repression and activation of the tyrP and aroF genes in Escherichia coli.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.


Tyrosine-mediated repression of aroF and tyrP was studied by inserting DNA sequences between the two adjacent TYR R boxes which, in each case, overlap the respective RNA polymerase binding sites of these genes. In both cases, repression was greatest when homologous regions of these two TYR R boxes were on the same face of the DNA helix and the boxes were directly adjacent. An insertion of 3 bases was sufficient to abolish repression, which was reestablished as the boxes became separated by one full turn of the helix. These observations, coupled with the results of in vitro DNase I protection studies, supported the hypothesis that the binding of TyrR protein to the downstream boxes required cooperative interaction with TyrR protein already bound to the upstream boxes. In the case of tyrP, moving the upstream box also affected activation. Maximal activation was observed when the box was moved 3 or 12 to 14 residues upstream. Practically no activation was seen at intermediate positions, such as +7 and -4. It is hypothesized that these results indicate positions allowing maximal interaction between TyrR protein bound to the upstream box and RNA polymerase bound to the RNA polymerase binding site.

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