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J Bacteriol. 1988 Sep;170(9):3967-77.

Gene organization in the region containing a new gene involved in chromosome partition in Escherichia coli.

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Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Tokyo, Japan.


A new mutation, parC, causing abnormal chromosome segregation was identified in two thermosensitive mutants of Escherichia coli. The thermosensitive growth of the mutants was corrected by pLC4-14 in the Clarke-Carbon collection. This plasmid carries a putative gene which can suppress the cell division defect due to ftsI (pbpB) and has hence been termed sufI (sui). The nearness of parC to metC was confirmed, and cotransduction frequency of parC was 59% with metC and 20% with glc. The parC-sufI region was analyzed by subcloning the chromosome region of pLC4-14. The parC and the sufI gene products were electrophoretically identified as proteins of 75 and 55 kilodaltons (kDa), respectively. The allelism of parC+ on pLC4-14 to parC1215 was confirmed by cloning parC1215. The sufI gene appeared to be dispensable for cell viability, and overproduction of its product caused suppression of ftsI. An essential gene coding for a 25-kDa protein was found between the parC and the sufI gene. These three genes were transcribed in the same direction and may be organized into an operon, with parC to the proximal side and with internal promoters at least for the distal genes. The localization of the gene products was examined in maxicells. The sufI protein was synthesized as a precursor which could be chased into a mature form. The major part of the mature form was found in the soluble fraction. The 25-kDa protein was found almost exclusively in the membrane fraction. The parC protein was associated with the membrane fraction in the presence of Mg2+ but found in the soluble fraction when Mg2+ was sequestered with EDTA.

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