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Biochemistry. 1994 Jul 19;33(28):8406-16.

Single-site mutations in the C-terminal domain of bacteriophage lambda cI repressor alter cooperative interactions between dimers adjacently bound to OR.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110.


Wild-type cI repressor dimers bind with 2.5-3 kcal/mol of cooperative free energy to the tripartite right operator region (OR) of bacteriophage lambda [Johnson, A. D., et al. (1981) Nature 294, 217-223; Brenowitz, M., et al. (1986) Methods Enzymol. 130, 132-181]. Quantitative modeling has suggested that cooperativity is required for maintenance of the lysogenic state and for the efficient switch from lysogenic to lytic growth [Ackers, G. K., et al. (1982) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 79, 1129-1133; Shea, M. A., & Ackers, G. K. (1985) J. Mol. Biol. 181, 211-230]. Cooperativity and self-association are thought to involve protein-protein contacts between C-terminal domains of the repressor molecule [Pabo, C. O., et al. (1979) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 76, 1608-1612]. To address the importance of the C-terminal domain in mediating the cooperativity exhibited by lambda cI repressor, a number of single-site mutant candidates were screened for possible deficiencies in cooperative interactions [Beckett, D., et al. (1993) Biochemistry 32, 9073-9079; Burz, D. S., et al. (1994) Biochemistry 33, 8399-8405]. Since repressor dimerization and binding to operator sites are coupled processes, elucidation of the energetic basis of regulation in this system requires that the equilibrium dimerization constants and the intrinsic and cooperative free energies of binding be measured. In this work we evaluate the interaction of eight mutant repressors with OR DNA: Gly147-->Asp (GD147), Pro158-->Thr (PT158), Glu188-->Lys (EK188), Lys192-->Asn (KN192), Tyr210-->His (YH210), Ser228-->Arg (SR228), and Ser228-->Asn (SN228), each with an amino acid substitution in the C-terminal domain, and Glu102-->Lys (EK102) where the substitution lies in the "linker sequence" between domains. Self-assembly properties of six of these mutant repressors are presented in the preceding paper (Burz et al., 1994). In this work, the binding of mutant cI repressors to OR was examined using quantitative DNAse I footprinting. This technique monitors individual site occupancy concurrent with binding at the other sites within a multisite complex.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS).

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