Ribonucleic acid-deoxyribonucleic acid (RNA-DNA) hybridization was employed for the determination of messenger RNA transcribed from the ilv gene cluster of Escherichia coli K-12. Strains with derepressed levels of the isoleucine and valine biosynthetic enzymes owing to linked or unlinked genetic lesions were found to exhibit ilv messenger RNA levels from 1.5- to 4-fold higher than did their isogenic parents. When grown under conditions that specifically repressed the synthesis of isoleucine- and valine-forming enzymes, most strains exhibited drastically reduced ilv messenger RNA levels. Hybridization performed with the separated strands of ilv DNA showed that all the ilv genes are transcribed from the same strand, the “l strand” of λφ80CI857St68dilv DNA. Sucrose gradient analyses of RNA extracted from cells starved for isoleucine, valine, or leucine resulted in the detection of at least two distinct types of ilv messenger RNA
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