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Gene. 1996 Feb 2;168(1):1-8.

The Rz1 gene product of bacteriophage lambda is a lipoprotein localized in the outer membrane of Escherichia coli.

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Laboratory of Bacterial Biochemistry, Department of Biochemistry, University of Gdánsk, Poland.


The Rz1 gene of bacteriophage lambda is located within the Rz1 lysis gene. It codes for the 6.5-kDa prolipoprotein (Rz1) which undergoes N-terminal signal sequence cleavage and post-translational lipid modification of the N-terminal Cys of the mature protein. Globomycin, the antibiotic which inhibits bacterial signal peptidase II, specific for prolipoproteins containing diacylglyceryl cysteine [Hayashi and Wu, J. Bioenerg. Biomembr. 22 (1990) 451-471] inhibits the N-terminal sequence cleavage of the Rz1 precursor. The mature protein is rich in Pro, which constitutes 25% of its amino acids (aa). Using a computer-predicted, synthetic, 15-aa antigenic determinant of Rz1 polyclonal anti-Rz[46-60] antibodies, were obtained, and employed to localize Rz1 in bacterial fractions. In induced Escherichia coli lambda lysogens Rz1 was found almost exclusively in the outer membrane (OM). In a strain overproducing Rz1 from the pSB54 plasmid, it was distributed in all the fractions, OM, fraction A and inner membrane (IM). Expression of Rz1 from the pSB54 caused enlargement of fraction A, corresponding to the adhesion sites of OM and IM. Such an enlargement was previously observed in induced lambda lysogens, shortly before the onset of lysis.

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