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

Cotranscription of genes encoding the small and large subunits of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase in the cyanobacterium Anabaena 7120.

In the filamentous cyanobacterium Anabaena, the gene for the small subunit (rbcS) of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase is linked to and transcribed together with the gene encoding the large subunit (rbcL) of the same enzyme. The two genes are separated by a spacer of 545 base pairs (bp) that does not contain an open reading frame. Both genes hybridize with a predominant 3.1-kilobase transcript that initiates 414 bp upstream from the rbcL coding region. The nucleotide sequence 14-8 bp preceding the transcription start site resembles a good Escherichia coli promoter, but the sequence in the -35 region does not. There is no obvious relationship between the sequence flanking the amino terminus of the cyanobacterial small subunit gene and the transit peptide of eukaryotic small subunit genes. The Anabaena rbcS gene is 61% homologous at the amino acid level with the gene from the unicellular cyanobacterium Anacystis and 37-38% homologous with the corresponding nuclear genes from eukaryotes. In contrast, the Anabaena rbcL gene is approximately equal to 86% homologous at the amino acid level with the rbcL genes from plant chloroplasts. Cotranscription satisfies one of the requirements for coordinate expression of the two genes whose products are needed in equimolar amounts in the mature enzyme. The rbcL-rbcS transcript is equally abundant in Anabaena azollae grown in the light or on fructose in the dark.[1]


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