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

Measurement of gene expression by translational coupling: effect of copy mutations on pT181 initiator synthesis.

We have prepared and analyzed two types of gene fusion between the replication initiator gene, repC, and the reporter gene, blaZ, in order to investigate the relationship between pT181 plasmid copy number and RepC initiator protein production. A series of pT181 copy mutant plasmids, with copy numbers ranging from 70 to 800 copies per cell, were analyzed. In one type of gene fusion used in this study, blaZ was translationally coupled to the C-terminal end of the repC coding sequence such that native forms of both proteins were produced. This gene fusion arrangement, which permitted monitoring of RepC production (as BlaZ activity) by plasmids using the protein for their own replication, demonstrated a linear relationship, with one exception, between RepC production and plasmid copy number over a 20-fold range. In the second type of fusion, blaZ was translationally fused to the C-terminal end of repC. As the translational fusion did not produce active RepC protein, the fusion-containing pT181 derivatives were maintained in a strain which provided RepC in trans, and were thus analyzed at constant copy number. In contrast to previous analyses of this type, our translational fusion constructs expressed repC at levels proportional to the copy numbers of the plasmids from which the fusions were prepared. Using these data, we have calculated a minimum figure for the number of RepC molecules synthesized per replication event.[1]

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