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

Evidence that DNA involved in the expression of nodulation (nod) genes in Rhizobium binds to the product of the regulatory gene nodD.

In Rhizobium leguminosarum biovar viciae, the regulatory nodulation nodD gene has at least two functions. It constitutively represses its own transcription and in the presence of inducer flavonoid molecules, it activates the expression of two other nod gene transcriptional units, nodABCIJ and nodFE. Upstream of nodA and nodF is a conserved sequence, the nod box, which has been implicated in nodD-mediated transcriptional activation of these genes. DNA fragments spanning the nod boxes that precede nodA and nodF were end-labelled and were exposed to cell-free extracts obtained from strains of Rhizobium. Using the gel retardation technique, it was shown that a complex between protein and these DNA fragments was formed, but only if the extract contained a functional nodD gene. Evidence that the protein that binds to the regulatory sequences is the nodD gene product came from the observation that a complex was formed between the nod box preceding nodA and protein from a cell-free extract isolated from Escherichia coli containing the cloned nodD gene. Extracts from Rhizobium strains containing mutant forms of nodD which were specifically affected in autoregulation or in flavonoid-dependent activation formed either no protein DNA complex or formed a complex with altered mobility compared to that obtained with extracts from wild-type strains.[1]


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