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Insertional Inactivation of trpC in Cloned Bacillus trp Segments: Evidence for a Polar Effect on trpF

  • K. M. Keggins
  • P. S. Lovett
  • R. Marrero
  • S. O. Hoch
Publication Date
Sep 01, 1979
  • Biology


Plasmid pUB110 was previously used as a vector to clone fragments of deoxyribonucleic acid that complement the trpC2 mutation in Bacillus subtilis from endonuclease EcoRI digested B. licheniformis, B. pumilus, and B. subtilis cellular deoxyribonucleic acid. Each of several such trp plasmids was subsequently shown to contain a segment of the trp gene cluster on the basis of genetic complementing activity. In the present study, analysis of the Trp enzyme levels in B. subtilis harboring the constructed trp plasmids confirms the genetic constitution of the plasmids. Thus, plasmids that complement mutations in specific trp genes specify the corresponding enzyme activities. The levels of the plasmid-specified Trp enzymes in B. subtilis were generally above the repressed level of the chromosomally specified Trp enzymes and equal to or below the derepressed levels of the chromosomally specified Trp enzymes. Certain cloned trp segments contain a single HindIII-sensitive site. Insertion of HindIII-generated deoxyribonucleic acid fragments into these trp plasmids resulted in inactivation of trpC complementing activity, loss of the trpC-specified enzyme activity, and a 10-fold reduction in the specific activity of the plasmid-specified trpF product. The HindIII insertions had no detectable effect on the level of the trpD product, nor did the insertions detectably alter plasmid-specified complementing activity other than to abolish trpC complementation. Removal of the HindIII insertions was accompanied by recovery of trpC complementing activity and restoration of the trpC-and trpF-determined enzymes to the levels specified by the parent plasmids.

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