, Volume 203, Issue 3, pp 421-429

Expression of biosynthetic genes from Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli in the heterologous host

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Summary

We examine the expression of constitutive or repressible, monocistronic genes from Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli after their transfer to the heterologous host. To this end, chromosomal DNA from P. aeruginosa was cloned into the mobilizable broad-host-range vector pKT240; recombinant plasmids carrying the argA, argF, or proC genes were identified by complementation of the corresponding auxotrophic mutations. The isofunctional E. coli genes and the E. coli proB gene were subcloned into pKT240 from existing recombinant plasmids. The enzyme expression specified by the Pseudomonas genes in E. coli, calculated per gene copy, ranged from 0.3%–5% of the levels observed in Pseudomonas. Fusion of the P. aeruginosa proC gene to the E. coli consensus tac promoter resulted in very high proC enzyme production in E. coli, indicating that, at least in this case, the expression barrier is essentially at the level of transcriptional initiation. The E. coli argA and argF enzymes, which are controlled by repression in their native host, were synthesized constitutively in P. aeruginosa at 5% of the levels measured in E. coli under derepressed conditions. The constitutive E. coli proB and proC genes were expressed at high levels (ca. 50%) in the heterologous host. These results support the idea that P. aeruginosa may be a more permissive host than E. coli for the heterologous expression of genes from gram-negative bacteria.

Communicated by P. Tiollais