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

Regulation and coupling of argECBH mRNA and enzyme synthesis in cell extracts of Escherichia coli.

Cell extracts from Escherichia coli were used to study both transcription and coupled translation of the argECBH gene cluster. Argininosuccinase (the argH enzyme) and N-acetylornithinase (the argE enzyme) were synthesized for 90 to 120 min, and hybridizable argECBH mRNA was synthesized for 60 min after the addition of a lambda or phi 80 dargECBH DNA template. L-Arginine (2.5 mM) repressed synthesis by argR+ extracts of argECBH mRNA 2-, to 3-fold, argE enzyme 5- to 8-fold, and argH enzyme 20- to 60-fold. Repression was specific for L-arginine, and argR extracts were insensitive to added L-arginine. The argECBH mRNA made under conditions of restricted protein synthesis had reduced ability to function in the formation of the argE and argH enzymes and was found to be predominantly 6 to 8S in sucrose density gradients. When protein synthesis was allowed, the mRNA formed was functional, and large amounts of 14 to 23S argECBH mRNA appeared on sucrose gradients. An S-100 supernatant freed of ribosomes was capable of producing hybridizable arg mRNA, but significant functional message was only produced when ribosomes were present. When purified RNA polymerase was used, the formation of short 6 to 8S argECBH mRNA was dependent upon added rho protein. The data suggest that rho-dependent sites in the argECBH operon allow early termination of mRNA synthesis when transcription is not coupled to active enzyme synthesis.[1]


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