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

A region of the Ada DNA-repair protein required for the activation of ada transcription is not necessary for activation of alkA.

The adaptive response of Escherichia coli protects cells against the mutagenic and toxic effects of alkylating agents. This response is controlled by the Ada protein, which not only functions as the transcriptional activator of the ada and alkA genes but also possesses two DNA methyltransferae activities. Ada is converted into an efficient transcriptional activator by transferring a methyl group from a DNA methylphosphotriester to its own Cys-69 residue and then binds to a DNA sequence (the Ada box) present in both the ada and alkA promoters. Although the Ada protein initially appeared to regulate the ada and alkA genes in a similar fashion, our studies show that the wild-type Ada protein and its truncated derivatives can differentially regulate ada and alkA transcription. In vivo, lower levels of wild-type methylated Ada are needed to activate ada transcription than alkA transcription. In cells exposed to alkylating agents, the N-terminal half of Ada, which contains the DNA-binding domain, is sufficient for efficient activation of alkA, but not ada, transcription. Moreover, truncated derivatives containing 80-90% of Ada are extremely strong constitutive activators of ada but are only inducible activators of alkA transcription. These results suggest that the mechanism by which Ada activates ada transcription differs from that by which it activates alkA transcription.[1]


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