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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Attenuation in the rph-pyrE operon of Escherichia coli and processing of the dicistronic mRNA.

We have substituted on a plasmid the native promoter of the Escherichia coli rph-pyrE operon with an inducible transcription-initiation signal. The plasmid was used to study the mRNA chains derived from the operon at different intracellular concentrations of UTP and as a function of time following induction of transcription. The results showed that dicistronic rph-pyrE mRNA was formed when the UTP pool was low, and that a monocistronic rph mRNa was the major transcription product in high-UTP pools, thus supporting an UTP-controlled attenuation mechanism for regulation of pyrE gene expression. However, the dicistronic rph-pyrE transcript was rapidly processed into two monocistronic mRNA units, and a cleavage site was mapped near the attenuator in the intercistronic region, close to the site where transcription was terminated in high-UTP pools. Furthermore, the major 3' end of the pyrE mRNA was mapped near a palindromic structure of similarity to the family of repetitive extragenic palindromic sequences, 35 nucleotide residues after stop codon of the pryE gene.[1]


  1. Attenuation in the rph-pyrE operon of Escherichia coli and processing of the dicistronic mRNA. Andersen, J.T., Poulsen, P., Jensen, K.F. Eur. J. Biochem. (1992) [Pubmed]
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