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EMBO J. 1986 Aug;5(8):2031-6.

The bacteriophage T4 gene for the small subunit of ribonucleotide reductase contains an intron.


The bacteriophage T4 gene nrdB codes for the small subunit of the enzyme ribonucleotide reductase. The T4 nrdB gene was localized between 136.1 kb and 137.8 kb in the T4 genetic map according to the deduced structural homology of the protein to the amino acid sequence of its bacterial counterpart, the B2 subunit of Escherichia coli. This positions the C-terminal end of the T4 nrdB gene approximately 2 kb closer to the T4 gene 63 than earlier anticipated from genetic recombinational analyses. The most surprising feature of the T4 nrdB gene is the presence of an approximately 625 bp intron which divides the structural gene into two parts. This is the second example of a prokaryotic structural gene with an intron. The first prokaryotic intron was reported in the nearby td gene, coding for the bacteriophage T4-specific thymidylate synthase enzyme. The nucleotide sequence at the exon-intron junctions of the T4 nrdB gene is similar to that of the junctions of the T4 td gene: the anticipated exon-intron boundary at the donor site ends with a TAA stop codon and there is an ATG start codon at the putative downstream intron-exon boundary of the acceptor site. In the course of this work the denA gene of T4 (endonuclease II) was also located.

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