The major component of the paracrystalline surface array of Caulobacter crescentus CB15 and one of the most abundant cellular proteins is a protein designated 130K. We have determined the DNA sequence of the 5' portion of the 130K gene, including the N-terminal one-third of the protein coding region, and analyzed the transcription of the gene. The site of transcription initiation was determined by S1 mapping of Caulobacter RNA. Although the DNA sequence upstream from the transcription start site showed significant homology to the consensus promoter sequences of Escherichia coli, S1 analysis of RNA from E. coli carrying the 130K gene on a plasmid indicated that the 130K promoter was not transcribed by E. coli RNA polymerase in vivo. Quantitative S1 analysis of RNA isolated from synchronously growing Caulobacter cells suggested that this promoter was not under developmental regulation; the amount of 130K transcript varied no more than 1.5-fold during the cell cycle. The length of the 130K mRNA was determined to be 3.3 kilobases by Northern (RNA blot) analysis, indicating that the 130K mRNA is not part of a polycistron. The amino acid sequence predicted from the DNA sequence agreed well with the N-terminal amino acid sequence determined by sequencing of the 130K protein. The 130K protein appears to be synthesized without an N-terminal leader sequence, but the N-terminal 20 amino acids are relatively hydrophobic and may function like a signal sequence during transmembrane translocation
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