Send to

Choose Destination
Microb Comp Genomics. 1997;2(4):287-98.

Clustering of chi sequence in Escherichia coli genome.

Author information

Department of Molecular Biology, Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo, Japan.


An 8-mer DNA sequence called chi (5'-GCTGGTGG) is present on the Escherichia coli chromosome at a high frequency. It is responsible for both the attenuation of RecBCD exonuclease activity and the promotion of RecABCD-mediated homologous recombination. chi was first identified as a site that increased plaque size of bacteriophage lambda. lambda containing chi makes very small plaques on a recC* (recC1004) mutant because chi is poorly recognized by the RecBC*D mutant enzyme. We cloned E. coli chromosomal fragments in lambda that allowed lambda to form larger plaques on this recC* mutant as well as on the rec+ parent. One identified fragment contained a cluster of two copies of chi and several chi-like sequences with the same orientation. It increased recombination in the rec+ strain more than a fragment with one chi did. This fragment was within the rep gene, whose helicase product is known to be required for growth in the absence of functional RecBCD enzyme. The possibility that RecBCD enzyme might interact both with the rep gene and its product is discussed. Many of the other chi clusters identified in the E. coli genome database lie within genes for membrane proteins. The possible significance of these findings is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center