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

Re-initiation of tryptophan operon expression in a promoter deletion strain of Salmonella typhimurium.

A genetic and enzymological study was made of five spontaneous prototrophic revertants of a tryptophan auxotroph of Salmonella typhimurium which carries a deletion extending from the closely linked supX locus into the trp operator-promoter region. The revertants were found to have regained initiation of expression of all five trp genes. Recombinational tests showed that in each case the genetic change responsible for re-initiation is cotransducible with the trp-cysB region of the chromosome. Two different mechanisms leading to re-initiation of trp gene expression were established: (a) an extension of the limits of the original deletion resulting in the fusion of the trp structural genes with a nearby gene or gene set located outside the operator end of trp, and (b) translocation of a duplicate set of the trp structural genes to other chromosomal sites, located operator-distal to the normal trp operon, in such a manner that they are functionally fused to foreign genetic units. One revertant which arose by mechanism (a) was shown to have an extended deletion with one new terminus in trp and the other in the nearby cysB locus. All the revertants exhibit constitutive expression of the trp enzymes, with activities varying among strains from five to forty five times greater than the fully repressed wild type level. The protein product of trpA, the first structural gene of the operon, appears to have been partially damaged by the re-initiation event in at least two strains, while in the other strains, the enzyme appears in preliminary tests to be indistinguishable from that of wild type.[1]


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