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Identification of Messenger Ribonucleic Acids and Proteins Synthesized by the Bacteriocinogenic Factor Clo DF13 in Purified Minicells of Escherichia coli

  • A. J. Kool
  • M. S. van Zeben
  • H. J. J. Nijkamp
Publication Date
Apr 01, 1974
  • Biology


It has previously been shown that the cloacinogenic factor Clo DF13 (Clo DF13) segregates into minicells of strain Escherichia coli P678-54 that harbors Clo DF13 and that this Clo DF13 factor is the only deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) present in these otherwise chromosomeless minicells. The study reported here shows that minicells prepared from P678-54(Clo DF13) are able to incorporate radioactive precursors into ribonucleic acid (RNA) and protein. The RNA synthesized in these purified minicells is Clo DF13 specific, as shown by RNA-DNA hybridization experiments. The results indicate that all the de novo synthesized gene products in Clo DF13 minicells are Clo DF13 specific. Polyacrylamide gel electrophoretic patterns show that in these minicells at least three polypeptides (molecular weight about 70,000, 20,000, and 11,000) and one major species of messenger RNA (mRNA) (S value about 21.3) are synthesized. To investigate the factor in its induced state, we isolated a Clo DF13 mutant with an enhanced level of cloacin production. Minicells harboring this Clo DF13 mutant produce five additional polypeptides (molecular weight about 58,000, 44,000, 28,000, 16,000, and 14,000). Three additional mRNA species (S value about 19.5, 14, and 12) could be distinguished. The total molecular weight of the eight polypeptides corresponds to 85% of the total coding capacity of the mRNAs (303,000). The total molecular weight of the four mRNAs is 2.55 × 106, which covers 85% of the Clo DF13 DNA (molecular weight 6 × 106).

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