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CRC Crit Rev Biochem. 1988;23 Suppl 1:S1-42.

Methionine biosynthesis in Enterobacteriaceae: biochemical, regulatory, and evolutionary aspects.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France.


The genes coding for the enzymes involved in methionine biosynthesis and regulation are scattered on the Escherichia coli chromosome. All of them have been cloned and most have been sequenced. From the information gathered, one can establish the existence (upstream of the structural genes coding for the biosynthetic genes and the regulatory gene) of "methionine boxes" consisting of two or more repeats of an octanucleotide sequence pattern. The comparison of these sequences allows the extraction of a consensus operator sequence. Mutations in these sequences lead to the constitutivity of the vicinal structural gene. The operator sequence is the target of a DNA-binding protein--the methionine aporepressor--which has been obtained in the pure state, for which S-adenosylmethionine acts as the corepressor. Mutations in the corresponding gene lead to the constitutive expression of all the methionine structural genes. The physicochemical properties of the methionine aporepressor are being investigated.

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