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J Mol Biol. 1986 Oct 5;191(3):303-11.

malM, a new gene of the maltose regulon in Escherichia coli K12. I. malM is the last gene of the malK-lamB operon and encodes a periplasmic protein.


The structure and expression of the distal part of the malK-lamB operon in Escherichia coli was studied. DNA sequencing was performed as far as a HinfI restriction site located 1313 base-pairs downstream from gene lamB. The open reading frame, formerly called molA, which begins 245 base-pairs downstream from gene lamB, is longer than was initially thought, and was renamed malM. It could encode a protein of 306 amino acid residues. The complete malM open reading frame was cloned under control of the tac 12 promoter. In maxicells, the resulting plasmid permitted tac12-promoted synthesis of two polypeptides, encoded by gene malM, with apparent molecular weights of 37 X 10(3) and 34.5 X 10(3). We provide strong evidence that the 34.5 X 10(3) Mr protein is derived from the 37 X 10(3) Mr protein by processing at the amino-terminal end, and that this processed form is located in the periplasmic space. We show that the chromosomal malM gene is expressed as part of the malK-lamB operon, and that its product is periplasmic. Finally, we demonstrate with nuclease S1 mapping experiments that the mRNA terminates at a typical rho-independent terminator located about 45 base-pairs beyond the end of gene malM, which is thus the last gene of the malK-lamB operon.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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