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

Abnormal induction of heat shock proteins in an Escherichia coli mutant deficient in adenosylmethionine synthetase activity.

Most prototrophic strains of Escherichia coli become restricted for methionine at 44 degrees C. A mutant strain (RG62 metK) in which the level of S-adenosylmethionine synthetase activity is only 10 to 20% of normal shows constitutive expression of one of the heat shock proteins, the lysU gene product, lysyl-tRNA synthetase form II, at 37 degrees C. These findings suggested a possible linkage between methionine metabolism and heat shock. We examined the induction of heat shock polypeptides in strain RG62 (metK) and in its parent, RG (metK+), from which it was derived by spontaneous mutation. Exponential-phase cultures of the two strains were pulse-labeled with [3H]leucine shortly after a shift from 37 to 44 degrees C, and the total cellular polypeptides were examined by two-dimensional electrophoresis. The results confirmed the constitutive production of the lysU gene product previously reported for strain RG62, but also revealed that the induction of 2 of the 17 heat shock polypeptides, C14.7 and G13.5, was markedly depressed. Otherwise the heat shock induction pattern was similar in timing and magnitude in the two strains. Transformation of the mutant strain with a plasmid, pK8, containing the metK coding sequence and promoter region as a 1.8-kilobase insert into pBR322 restored normal induction of C14.7 and G13.5, but did not prevent constitutive expression of the lysU gene product in the medium required for growth of this strain. The three heat shock polypeptides abnormally controlled in strain RG62 are the three polypeptides which are not induced when rapid synthesis of the htpR gene product is induced by isopropyl-beta-D-thiogalactopyranoside at 28 degree C (R. A. VanBogelen, M. A. Acton, and F. C. Neidhardt, Genes Dev. 1:525-531, 1987). We postulate that induction of these three polypeptides involves metabolic signals in addition to the synthesis of the htpR gene product and that strain RG62 (metK) fails to produce the signals involved in induction of C14.7 and G13.5 on a shift-up in temperature and produces the signal related to lysU induction even at 37 degree C.[1]

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