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Gene. 1990 Jan 31;86(1):35-43.

Factors affecting expression of the recF gene of Escherichia coli K-12.

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Department of Molecular Biology, University of California, Berkeley 94720.


This report describes four factors which affect expression of the recF gene from strong upstream lambda promoters under temperature-sensitive cIAt2-encoded repressor control. The first factor was the long mRNA leader sequence consisting of the Escherichia coli dnaN gene and 95% of the dnaA gene and lambda bet, N (double amber) and 40% of the exo gene. When most of this DNA was deleted, RecF became detectable in maxicells. The second factor was the vector, pBEU28, a runaway replication plasmid. When we substituted pUC118 for pBEU28, RecF became detectable in whole cells by the Coomassie blue staining technique. The third factor was the efficiency of initiation of translation. We used site-directed mutagenesis to change the mRNA leader, ribosome-binding site and the 3 bp before and after the translational start codon. Monitoring the effect of these mutational changes by translational fusion to lacZ, we discovered that the efficiency of initiation of translation was increased 30-fold. Only an estimated two- or threefold increase in accumulated levels of RecF occurred, however. This led us to discover the fourth factor, namely sequences in the recF gene itself. These sequences reduce expression of the recF-lacZ fusion genes 100-fold. The sequences responsible for this decrease in expression occur in four regions in the N-terminal half of recF. Expression is reduced by some sequences at the transcriptional level and by others at the translational level.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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