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J Bacteriol. 1990 Sep;172(9):5044-51.

A sequence-specific DNA-binding factor (VF1) from Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120 vegetative cells binds to three adjacent sites in the xisA upstream region.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Texas A&M University, College Station 77843.


A DNA-binding factor (VF1) partially purified from Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120 vegetative cell extracts by heparin-Sepharose chromatography was found to have affinity for the xisA upstream region. The xisA gene is required for excision of an 11-kilobase element from the nifD gene during heterocyst differentiation. Previous studies of the xisA upstream sequences demonstrated that deletion of this region is required for the expression of xisA from heterologous promoters in vegetative cells. Mobility shift assays with a labeled 250-base-pair fragment containing the binding sites revealed three distinct DNA-protein complexes. Competition experiments showed that VF1 also bound to the upstream sequences of the rbcL and glnA genes, but the rbcL and glnA fragments showed only single complexes in mobility shift assays. The upstream region of the nifH gene formed a weak complex with VF1. DNase footprinting and deletion analysis of the xisA binding site mapped the binding to a 66-base-pair region containing three repeats of the consensus recognition sequence ACATT.

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