The nucleotide sequence of 2,021 base pairs (bp) of DNA containing the Escherichia coli aroLM operon was determined, and the coding regions of both aroL and aroM were identified. The 501-bp intercistronic region between aroL and aroM contains an open reading frame which might encode a 63-residue protein. Northern blots with RNA from strains carrying multicopy aroL+ plasmids detected one longer (2,000-base) and two shorter (950- and 1,100-base) transcripts which contained aroL. It was concluded that the longest transcript, which was not abundant, spanned the entire operon and that the shorter transcripts resulted from either termination or posttranscriptional processing in the intercistronic region. The DNA upstream of aroL contains a number of imperfect palindromes which are closely homologous to known sites of regulation by the TyrR protein in other operons
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