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J Mol Biol. 1985 May 25;183(2):117-28.

Primary structure of the hip gene of Escherichia coli and of its product, the beta subunit of integration host factor.


We describe the isolation and sequencing of the hip gene of Escherichia coli and show that it encodes the beta subunit of integration host factor (IHF beta). In order to locate the coding region, we constructed a set of deletion mutants by exonucleolytic digestion of a fragment containing hip, determined which mutants were hip+ and which hip- by complementation, and then sequenced the ends of the critical deletions. The 5' end of the coding region was located precisely by comparing the deduced amino acid sequence to the actual N-terminal amino acid sequence of IHF. Our assignment of the coding region was further substantiated by the nucleotide sequences of a hip point mutant and of internal replacement mutations. We found a probable promoter for hip located about 85 base-pairs upstream from the initial AUG codon and about 75 base-pairs downstream from the 3' end of the neighboring gene, rpsA, and we constructed an IHF beta overproducer by fusing the coding sequences to the lambda pL promoter. A survey of known protein sequences revealed a close relationship between IHF beta and the type II prokaryotic DNA binding proteins (the "histone-like" proteins). This relationship is shared to a considerable extent by the other subunit of IHF, IHF alpha. A hip missense mutation that replaces a completely conserved glycine with aspartate has a null phenotype, suggesting that the conserved regions are functionally important.

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