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Gene. 1993 Apr 15;126(1):93-7.

Propagation of phage Mu in IHF-deficient Escherichia coli in the absence of the H-NS histone-like protein.

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Department of Molecular Genetics, Kyoto Pharmaceutical University, Japan.


Integration host factor (IHF) is known to be required for the expression of early genes and formation of the transpososome of mutator phage Mu. Prophage Mucts62 was stably maintained at 30 degrees C and proliferated effectively after thermal induction at 42 degrees C in an Escherichia coli mutant defective in the histone-like H-NS and IHF proteins. No IHF activity was detected in cells lacking H-NS and IHF; cells could not be transformed with plasmid pCL1920, which is based on the pSC101 replicon whose replication requires IHF. No difference in the superhelical densities of the reporter plasmid was detected in the H-NS, IHF null mutant and parental cells. From these results it is concluded that IHF is not essential for Mu development. These results also suggest that H-NS may function as a silencer for Pe operon expression and that IHF overcomes the inhibitory effect of H-NS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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