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

A functional leuABCD operon is required for leucine synthesis by the tyrosine-repressible transaminase in Escherichia coli K-12.

In Escherichia coli K-12, two enzymes, encoded by ilvE and tyrB, catalyze the amination of 2-ketoisocaproate (2-KIC) to form leucine. Although leucine-requiring derivatives of an ilvE strain that are unable to grow on 2-KIC were expected to have mutations only in tyrB, mapping studies showed that one such mutation was tightly linked to the leu operon (at 1.5 min), not to tyrB (at 92 min). Chromosomal fragments cloned because they complemented this mutation were found to complement leu mutations, and vice versa, but none of these fragments complemented a tyrB mutation. The Tn5 insertion and flanking host DNA from this anomalous mutant was cloned in vivo, using Mu dII4042, and an in vivo procedure was developed to isolate deletion derivatives of Tn5-containing plasmids. These deletion plasmids were used to determine the DNA sequences flanking the transposon. The data showed that Tn5 was inserted between bp 122 and 132 in the leu leader. In addition, other ilvE leu double mutants were found to be unable to grow on 2-KIC in place of leucine. The accumulation of 2-ketoisovalerate in ilvE leu double mutants was shown to interfere with 2-KIC amination by the tyrB- encoded transaminase and also by the aspC- and avtA-encoded transaminases (which are able to catalyze this reaction in vivo when the corresponding genes are present on multicopy plasmids).[1]


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