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J Bacteriol. 1993 Apr;175(8):2407-13.

The Rhodobacter capsulatus chlorin reductase-encoding locus, bchA, consists of three genes, bchX, bchY, and bchZ.

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Department of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley.


The bchA locus of Rhodobacter capsulatus codes for the chlorin reductase enzyme in the bacteriochlorophyll synthesis pathway. Previous work has suggested that this locus might encompass a single gene. We have sequenced the bchA locus and found it to contain three coding segments, which we designate bchX, bchY, and bchZ. Each coding segment contains its own translational initiation sequence and follows codon utilization patterns consistent with those of previously published R. capsulatus genes. When various regions of the bchA locus and flanking sequences were subcloned into an expression vector and expressed in Escherichia coli, the three coding segments were all expressed as separate peptides. Finally, conservation of amino acid sequences between bchX and a subunit of the protochlorophyllide reductase (bchL, 34% identity) and the nitrogenase Fe protein (nifH, 30 to 37% identity) suggests structural and mechanistic commonalities among all three proteins.

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