The chromosomal DNA that lies between the lacI and lacZ genes of Klebsiella pneumoniae constitutes a 196-base pair intercistronic region that contains regulatory sequences for both genes. The probable locations of specific regulatory elements for both lacI and lacZ genes were determined by analogy with the corresponding Escherichia coli sequences. A recombinational event in ancestral DNA evidently has inverted the transcriptional direction of lacI in K. pneumoniae relative to the transcriptional direction of lacI in E. coli. One end of the inversion was located within a 19-base pair sequence in the K. pneumoniae regulatory region. Sequences partially homologous to these 19 base pairs were found in two locations on either side of the E. coli lacI gene. The nucleotide sequence of the lac regulatory region in K. pneumoniae exhibits more than one possibility for folded tertiary structures. The spatial relationships of transcriptional binding sites differ in two possible structures. Associations of regulatory and transcriptional proteins with the DNA might affect conformation of the regulatory sequences and, as a consequence, transcription of the lac genes
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