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Eur J Biochem. 1978 Aug 15;89(1):125-31.

Degradation of guanosine 3'-diphosphate 5'-diphosphate in vitro by the spoT gene product of Escherichia coli.


Guanosine 3'-diphosphate 5'-diphosphate (ppGpp) is rapidly degraded to guanosine 5'-diphosphate (ppG) and probably pyrophosphate by an enzyme present in the ribosomal fraction prepared from spoT+ strains of Escherichia coli. The ppGpp-degrading enzyme was released from the ribosomes during dissociation at low ionic strength. Ribosomes are not essential for degradation of ppGpp, and decay of ppGpp is strictly dependent on manganese ions. The reaction is sensitive to inhibition by tetracycline, which can be reversed by MnCl2, indicating that the inhibitory effect is due to the previously described chelating properties of the antibiotic. When the ppGpp-degrading enzyme was complemented with adenosine 5'-triphosphate (pppA) and a nucleoside diphosphate kinase, decay of ppGpp was accelerated yielding pppG and ppG as major products. In the absence of pppA we have been unable to detect the ppGpp-degrading enzyme in various spoT- mutant strains indicating that this enzyme is the spoT gene product.

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