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EMBO J. 1989 Mar;8(3):981-7.

MalT, the regulatory protein of the Escherichia coli maltose system, is an ATP-dependent transcriptional activator.

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Unité de Génétique Moléculaire, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France.


We show that MalT, the transcriptional activator of the Escherichia coli maltose regulon, specifically binds ATP and dATP with a high affinity (Kd = 0.4 microM) and exhibits a weak ATPase activity. Using an abortive initiation assay, we further show that activation of open complex formation by MalT depends on the presence of ATP in addition to that of maltotriose, the inducer of the maltose system. Similar experiments in which ATP was replaced by ADP or AMP-PNP, a non-hydrolysable analogue of ATP, demonstrate that this reaction does not require ATP hydrolysis. As revealed by DNase I footprinting, both ATP and maltotriose are required for the binding of the MalT protein to the mal promoter DNA.

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