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Nucleic Acids Res. 1997 Jun 1;25(11):2114-20.

Specific binding of sso II DNA methyltransferase to its promoter region provides the regulation of sso II restriction-modification gene expression.

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  • 1Institute of BioMedical Chemistry, 10 Pogodinskaya st., Moscow 119832, Russia.


The regulation of the Sso II restriction-modification system from Shigella sonnei was studied in vivo and in vitro . In lacZ fusion experiments, Sso II methyltransferase (M. Sso II) was found to repress its own synthesis but stimulate expression of the cognate restriction endonuclease (ENase). The N-terminal 72 amino acids of M. Sso II, predicted to form a helix-turn-helix (HTH) motif, was found to be responsible for the specific DNA-binding and regulatory function of M. Sso II. Similar HTH motifs are predicted in the N-terminus of a number of 5-methylcytosine methyltransferases, particularly M. Eco RII, M.dcm and M. Msp I, of which the ability to regulate autogenously has been proposed. In vitro, the binding of M. Sso II to its target DNA was investigated using a mobility shift assay. M. Sso II forms a specific and stable complex with a 140 bp DNA fragment containing the promoter region of Sso II R-M system. The dissociation constant (Kd) was determined to be 1.5x10(-8) M. DNaseI footprinting experiments demonstrated that M. Sso II protects a 48-52 bp region immediately upstream of the M. Sso II coding sequence which includes the predicted -10 promoter sequence of M. Sso II and the -10 and -35 sequences of R. Sso II.

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