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

The occurrence of duplicate lysyl-tRNA synthetase gene homologs in Escherichia coli and other procaryotes.

The lysyl-tRNA synthetase ( LysRS) system of Escherichia coli K-12 consists of two genes, lysS, which is constitutive, and lysU, which is inducible. It is of importance to know how extensively the two-gene LysRS system is distributed in procaryotes, in particular, among members of the family Enterobacteriaceae. To this end, the enterics E. coli K-12 and B; E. coli reference collection (ECOR) isolates EC2, EC49, EC65, and EC68; Shigella flexneri; Salmonella typhimurium; Klebsiella pneumoniae; Enterobacter aerogenes; Serratia marcescens; and Proteus vulgaris and the nonenterics Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Bacillus megaterium were grown in AC broth to a pH of 5.5 or less or cultured in SABO medium at pH 5. 0. These growth conditions are known to induce LysRS activity (LysU synthesis) in E. coli K-12. Significant induction of LysRS activity (twofold or better) was observed in the E. coli strains, the ECOR isolates, S. flexneri, K. pneumoniae, and E. aerogenes. To demonstrate an association between LysRS induction and two distinct LysRS genes, Southern blotting was performed with a probe representing an 871-bp fragment amplified from an internal portion of the coding region of the lysU gene. In initial experiments, chromosomal DNA from E. coli K-12 strain MC4100 (lysS+ lysU+) was double digested with either BamHI and HindIII or BamHI and SalI, producing hybridizable fragments of 12.4 and 4.2 kb and 6.6 and 5.2 kb, respectively. Subjecting the chromosomal DNA of E. coli K-12 strain GNB10181 (lysS+ delta lysU) to the same regimen established that the larger fragment from each digestion contained the lysU gene. The results of Southern blot analysis of the other bacterial strains revealed that two hybridizable fragments were obtained from all of the E. coli and ECOR collection strains examined and S. flexneri, K. pneumoniae, and E. aerogenes. Only one lysU homolog was found with S. typhimurium and S. marcescens, and none was obtained with P. vulgaris. A single hybridizable band was found with both P. aeruginose and B, megaterium. These results show that the dual-gene LysRS system is not confined to E. coli K-12 and indicate that it may have first appeared in the genus Enterobacter.[1]


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