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Gene Review

argF  -  ornithine carbamoyltransferase

Escherichia coli UTI89

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Disease relevance of argF


High impact information on argF

  • The use of the experimental protocol described in this work established that between 25-40% of the base pairs in the genes argF and argl have changed since they diverged from a hypothetical ancestral gene [1].
  • Considerable genetic drift has occurred during the evolution of the two genes, argF and argl, which individually code for isoenzyme forms of ornithine transcarbamylase in E. coli K12 [1].
  • The argF gene, although very uniform among the eight meningococcal isolates, had a striking mosaic structure when compared with the gonococcal argF gene: two regions of the gene differed by greater than 13% in nucleotide sequence between meningococci and gonococci, whereas the rest of the gene differed by less than 1.7% [6].
  • Thus, the increased yields of Cut mutants probably result from aberrations that occur when the F factor is integrated adjacent to argF [7].
  • Arginine repressed transcription that was initiated at argF but induced transcription of ORF4 [3].

Chemical compound and disease context of argF

  • The deoxyribonucleotide sequence has been determined for the regulatory region of the arginine F gene (argF) of Escherichia coli K-12 [8].
  • Unlike its phi 80 parent which performs specialized transduction of the trp region, phi 80immP22dis transduces markers located adjacent to its attachment site to Escherichia coli K12 recipients at high frequencies (0.3% for argF and 0.18% for proA) [9].
  • Transconjugants were not recovered in matings between Salmonella typhimurium and Escherichia coli K-12 strains carrying the chromosomal region between leu and argF on an F-prime factor, even when a restriction-deficient recipient was used [10].

Biological context of argF

  • Our initial investigation of the mechanism behind the observed differences in peroxide resistance when parent and mutant strains are compared indicates that the parent strain carries a region near argF that is responsible for the H2O2-sensitive phenotype, which we have named katC [11].
  • Mobility shift and DNase I footprinting have revealed specific binding of pure Escherichia coli ArgR to the promoter region of Thermus thermophilus argF [3].
  • The gonococcal argF gene encoding ornithine transcarbamoylase (OTCase) contains an open reading frame of 993 nucleotides which starts with a GUG codon and encodes a peptide with a deduced Mr of 36,731 [4].
  • Mapping of IS1 elements flanking the argF gene region on the Escherichia coli K-12 chromosome [12].
  • In E. coli K-12 the argF gene is flanked by ISI sequences in direct repeat [13].

Anatomical context of argF

  • In the region preceding the start site for argF translation, a sequence was observed to be complementary to the 3' end of the 16S RNA component of the E. coli ribosome [8].

Associations of argF with chemical compounds

  • The relA cells regained the ability to produce a burst of argF and argH enzyme synthesis when alpha-methylglucose-induced glucose starvation was combined with arginine limitation [14].
  • Upstream from argF is a putative gene for diphthine synthetase, a eukaryotic enzyme assumed to occur also in archaea but not in bacteria [15].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of argF

  • The argF control elements are located in a region accessible to further dissection by BamHI, EcoRI, PstI and HindIII [16].


  1. Evolutionary drift of the argF and argl genes. Coding for isoenzyme forms of ornithine transcarbamylase in E. coli K12. Sens, D., Natter, W., James, E. Cell (1977) [Pubmed]
  2. Resolution of the DNA strands of the specialized transducing bacteriophage lambda-h80C 1-857 dargF. Sens, D., Eshenbaugh, D., James, E. J. Virol. (1975) [Pubmed]
  3. Organization and expression of a Thermus thermophilus arginine cluster: presence of unidentified open reading frames and absence of a Shine-Dalgarno sequence. Sanchez, R., Roovers, M., Glansdorff, N. J. Bacteriol. (2000) [Pubmed]
  4. Sequence of the argF gene encoding ornithine transcarbamoylase from Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Martin, P.R., Cooperider, J.W., Mulks, M.H. Gene (1990) [Pubmed]
  5. Expression of the argF gene of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Pseudomonas putida, and Escherichia coli. Clarke, P.H., Laverack, P.D. J. Bacteriol. (1983) [Pubmed]
  6. Sequence diversity within the argF, fbp and recA genes of natural isolates of Neisseria meningitidis: interspecies recombination within the argF gene. Zhou, J., Spratt, B.G. Mol. Microbiol. (1992) [Pubmed]
  7. Genetic factors affecting recovery of nonpoint mutations in the region of a gene coding for ornithine transcarbamylase: involvement of both the F factor in its chromosomal state and the recA gene. Jessop, A.P., Glansdorff, N. Genetics (1980) [Pubmed]
  8. Nucleotide sequence of the argF regulatory region of Escherichia coli K-12. Moore, S.K., Garvin, R.T., James, E. Gene (1981) [Pubmed]
  9. High frequency transduction by phage hybrids between coliphage phi 80 and Salmonella phage P22. Yamamoto, N., Droffner, M.L., Yamamoto, S., Gemski, P., Baron, L.S. J. Gen. Virol. (1985) [Pubmed]
  10. Evidence for involvement of pyrH+ of an Escherichia coli K-12 F-prime factor in inhibiting construction of hybrid merodiploids with Salmonella typhimurium. Kelln, R.A. Can. J. Microbiol. (1984) [Pubmed]
  11. The delta (argF-lacZ)205(U169) deletion greatly enhances resistance to hydrogen peroxide in stationary-phase Escherichia coli. Volkert, M.R., Loewen, P.C., Switala, J., Crowley, D., Conley, M. J. Bacteriol. (1994) [Pubmed]
  12. Mapping of IS1 elements flanking the argF gene region on the Escherichia coli K-12 chromosome. Hu, M., Deonier, R.C. Mol. Gen. Genet. (1981) [Pubmed]
  13. Amplification of the ArgF region in strain HfrP4X of E. coli K-12. Jessop, A.P., Clugston, C. Mol. Gen. Genet. (1985) [Pubmed]
  14. Expression of arg genes of Escherichia coli during arginine limitation dependent upon stringent control of translation. Williams, M.G., Rogers, P. J. Bacteriol. (1987) [Pubmed]
  15. Isolation of the gene encoding Pyrococcus furiosus ornithine carbamoyltransferase and study of its expression profile in vivo and in vitro. Roovers, M., Hethke, C., Legrain, C., Thomm, M., Glansdorff, N. Eur. J. Biochem. (1997) [Pubmed]
  16. Cloning and endonuclease restriction analysis of argF and of the control region of the argECBH bipolar operon in Escherichia coli. Crabeel, M., Charlier, D., Cunin, R., Glansdorff, N. Gene (1979) [Pubmed]
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