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Characterization of the C operon transcript of bacteriophage Mu.

By S F Stoddard and M M Howe


Mu transcription occurs in three phases: early, middle, and late. Middle transcription occurs in the region of the C gene, which encodes the transactivator for late transcription. A middle promoter, Pm, was previously localized between 0.28 and 1.2 kilobase pairs upstream of C. We used S1 nuclease mapping with both unlabeled and radiolabeled capped RNAs from induced lysogens to characterize C transcription and identify its promoter. The C transcription initiation site was localized to a 4-base-pair region, approximately 740 base pairs upstream of C within the region containing Pm. Transcription of C was activated between 4 and 8 min after induction of cts and Cam lysogens and increased throughout the lytic cycle. Significant C transcription did not occur in replication-defective Aam lysogens. These kinetic and regulatory characteristics identify the C transcript as a middle RNA species and demonstrate that Pm is the C promoter. DNA sequence analysis of the Pm region showed a good -10, but poor -35, site homology to the Escherichia coli RNA polymerase consensus sequence. In addition, the sequence demonstrated that C is the distal gene in a middle operon containing several open reading frames. S1 mapping also showed an upstream transcript with a 3' end in the Pm region at a sequence strongly resembling a Rho-independent terminator. The regulatory characteristics of this RNA are consistent with this terminator, t9.2, being the early operon terminator

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1990
DOI identifier: 10.1128/jb.172.1.361-371.1990
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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