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Translational coupling of the two proximal genes in the S10 ribosomal protein operon of Escherichia coli.

By L Lindahl, R H Archer, J R McCormick, L P Freedman and J M Zengel


We have examined the translational coupling between the first two genes in the S10 ribosomal protein operon. We isolated mutations blocking the translation of the first gene of the operon, coding for S10, and monitored their effects on translation of the downstream gene, coding for L3. All of the mutations inhibiting S10 synthesis also affected the synthesis of L3. However, these experiments were complicated by decreased mRNA synthesis resulting from transcription polarity, which we could only partially eliminate by using a rho-100 strain. To completely eliminate the problem of transcription polarity and obtain a more accurate measurement of the coupling, we replaced the natural S10 promoter with a promoter used by the bacteriophage T7 RNA polymerase. As expected, the T7 RNA polymerase was not subject to transcription polarity. Using this system, we were able to show that a complete abolishment of S10 translation resulted in an 80% inhibition of L3 synthesis. Other experiments show that the synthesis of L3 goes up as a function of increasing S10 synthesis, but the translational coupling does not assure strictly proportional output from the two genes

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1989
DOI identifier: 10.1128/jb.171.5.2639-2645.1989
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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