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J Bacteriol. 1991 Feb;173(4):1367-75.

A family of regulatory genes associated with type II restriction-modification systems.

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Department of Microbiology, Medical College of Ohio, Toledo 43699-0008.


Restriction-modification systems must be regulated to avoid autorestriction and death of the host cell. An open reading frame (ORF) in the PvuII restriction-modification system appears to code for a regulatory protein from a previously unrecognized family. First, interruptions of this ORF result in a nonrestricting phenotype. Second, this ORF can restore restriction competence to such interrupted mutants in trans. Third, the predicted amino acid sequence of this ORF resembles those of known DNA-binding proteins and includes a probable helix-turn-helix motif. A survey of unattributed ORFs in 15 other type II restriction-modification systems revealed three that closely resemble the PvuII ORF. All four members of this putative regulatory gene family have a common position relative to the endonuclease genes, suggesting a common regulatory mechanism.

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