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

Conservation and evolution of the rpsU- dnaG-rpoD macromolecular synthesis operon in bacteria.

The macromolecular synthesis (MMS) operon contains three essential genes (rpsU, dnaG, rpoD) whose products (S21, primase, sigma-70) are necessary for the initiation of protein, DNA, and RNA synthesis respectively. PCR amplifications with primers complementary to conserved regions within these three genes, and subsequent DNA sequencing of rpsU- dnaG PCR products, demonstrate that the three genes appear to be contiguous in 11 different Gram-negative species. Within the Gram-negative enteric bacterial lineage, the S21 amino acid sequence is absolutely conserved in 10 species examined. The putative nuteq antiterminator sequence in rpsU consists of two motifs, boxA and boxB, conserved in primary sequence and secondary structure. The terminator sequence, T1, located between rpsU and dnaG is conserved at 31 positions in nine enterobacterial species, suggesting the importance of primary sequence in addition to secondary structure for transcription termination. The intergenic region between rpsU and dnaG varies in size owing to the presence or absence of the Enterobacterial Repetitive Intergenic Consensus (ERIC) DNA element. The rpoD gene contains rearrangements involving a divergent sequence, although two carboxy-terminal regions which encode functional domains are conserved in primary sequence and spacing. Our data suggest that primary sequence divergence and DNA rearrangements in both coding and non-coding sequences account for the interspecies variation in operon structure. However, MMS operon gene organization and cis-acting regulatory sequences appear to be conserved in diverse bacteria.[1]


  1. Conservation and evolution of the rpsU-dnaG-rpoD macromolecular synthesis operon in bacteria. Versalovic, J., Koeuth, T., Britton, R., Geszvain, K., Lupski, J.R. Mol. Microbiol. (1993) [Pubmed]
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