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Mol Gen Genet. 1991 Feb;225(2):342-5.

A physiological role for DNA supercoiling in the anaerobic regulation of colicin gene expression.

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Institute of Molecular Genetics, USSR Academy of Sciences, Moscow.


The mechanism of anaerobic regulation of synthesis of colicins E1, E2, E3, K and D was studied. It was found that anaerobiosis significantly increases expression of the genes for colicins E1, E2, E3, K, and D. Experiments with novobiocin (a DNA gyrase inhibitor) showed that colicin synthesis in minicells and derepressed colicin synthesis in cells are dramatically reduced by relaxation of DNA supercoiling. A good correlation was observed between the levels of colicin synthesis and plasmid DNA supercoiling and the degree of aeration of the cultures. Thus, the regulation of colicin gene expression in response to a change in aeration appears to be mediated by environmentally induced variations in DNA supercoiling.

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