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

Enhancing activity of rat tissue extracts for induction of lambda prophage by L-azaserine.

We studied the effect of rat tissue extracts on induction of lambda prophage in Escherichia coli (lambda) by L-azaserine. Hepatic and pancreatic extracts, primarily the cytosolic fraction, markedly increased the rate of induction. Hepatic extracts from lipotrope-deficient rats were somewhat more active than extracts from normal rats. The enhancing activity in normal rat hepatic cytosol was partially characterized. It reduced by about one-half the dose of azaserine required for a given purpose. The enhancement was increased by preincubating the bacterial cells with cytosol; cells retained the effect after cytosol was removed. Enhancing activity was inhibited strongly by the amino acids phenylalanine, tryptophan, and tyrosine; to lesser extents by leucine, methionine, and serine; and not at all by proline or glutamine. It was eliminated by dialysis of the cytosol and reduced by omission of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP) from the reaction mixture. Heating the cytosol to 60 degrees C or 80 degrees C or varying the pH of the reaction mixture from 6 to 8 had no significant effect. Treating the cytosol with trypsin appeared to release an inhibitor of the activity. Glutathione, cysteine, and beta-mercaptoethanol also enhanced lambda induction by azaserine, but the cytosolic activity was not affected by the thiol-inactivating compound diethylmaleate (DEM). The results suggest that factors in cytosol interact with bacterial cells to facilitate transport of azaserine into the cells, primarily through the aromatic amino acid transport system. A small molecule, not a free thiol compound, appears to be involved. It may serve to establish reducing conditions protective for azaserine, the probable mechanism of action of sulfhydryl compounds.[1]


  1. Enhancing activity of rat tissue extracts for induction of lambda prophage by L-azaserine. Suit, J.L., Miranda-da Cruz, B., Sito, L., Rogers, A.E. Environmental mutagenesis. (1984) [Pubmed]
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