Send to

Choose Destination
Mol Gen Genet. 1989 Oct;219(1-2):39-48.

Transcription and messenger RNA processing upstream of bacteriophage T4 gene 32.

Author information

Department of Molecular Biology, University of Geneva, Switzerland.


Bacteriophage T4 gene 32 lies at the 3' end of a complex transcription unit which includes genes 33, 59, and several open reading frames. In the course of an infection, four major transcripts are synthesized from this unit: two overlapping polycistronic transcripts about 3800 and 2800 nucleotides in length, and two monocistronic gene 32 transcripts about 1150 and 1100 nucleotides in length. These transcripts are made at different times in infection and the polycistronic transcripts have segmental differences in stability. Messenger RNA processing yields a 1025 nucleotide monocistronic gene 32 transcript, and a 135 nucleotide transcript containing part of the gene 59 coding sequence. Processing depends on Escherichia coli encoded ribonuclease E. This pattern of transcription and processing leads to the synthesis of gene 32 mRNA throughout infection, whereas transcripts encoding the upstream genes are present only early in infection. The 3800 nucleotide polycistronic transcript initiates at a promoter that does not require T4 encoded factors for activity. However, full-length synthesis of this transcript depends on the T4 mot gene product. The region upstream of gene 32 also contains four E. coli-like promoters that are active on chimeric plasmids in uninfected cells, but inactive in bacteriophage T4. The location of these cryptic T4 promoters is intriguing in that they lie near the 5' ends of open reading frame B, gene 59 and gene 32. They could play a role in phage development under particular conditions of growth or in bacterial hosts other than those examined here.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center