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J Mol Biol. 1987 Jan 5;193(1):27-40.

Differential repression of SOS genes by unstable lexA41 (tsl-1) protein causes a "split-phenotype" in Escherichia coli K-12.

Abstract

The lexA41 (formerly tsl-1) mutant was isolated as an ultraviolet light-resistant, temperature-sensitive derivative of its ultraviolet light-sensitive lexA3(Ind-) parent. Cells exhibit a so-called "split-phenotype", a phenomenon in which only a subset of the SOS responses can be detected physiologically following inducing treatments. lexA41 has been cloned and sequenced; the mutant gene retains the lexA3 mutation (Gly to Asp at position 85) and has a second mutation, lexA41 (Ala to Thr at position 131). We show that LexA41 protein is not cleaved by the RecA protein-catalyzed pathway in vivo, but the mutant protein is degraded by the Lon protease at both 32 degrees C and 42 degrees C. beta-Galactosidase activities of lac fusions to 13 different SOS promoters were measured at 30 degrees C and 42 degrees C to determine levels of expression and were found to vary considerably. The temperature-sensitive phenotype is a result of increased expression of sulA, which encodes a division inhibitor, at 42 degrees C. Excision repair genes, including uvrA, uvrB and uvrD, are constitutively expressed at 30 degrees C accounting for the ultraviolet light resistance of the lexA41 mutant, but the SOS mutagenesis operon, umuD,C, is not adequately derepressed, thereby explaining the failure to induce mutagenesis in this background. This differential expression of SOS genes gives a plausible explanation of the split-phenotype associated with lexA41.

PMID:
3108514
DOI:
10.1016/0022-2836(87)90623-1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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