Control regions within the argECBH gene cluster of Escherichia coli K12
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In Escherichia coli K12, four of the nine structural genes involved in the biosynthesis of arginine (argE, C, B and H) form a tight cluster within which a clockwise-polarized unit of expression (argCBH) had previously been identified. From a mutant carrying an argCB deletion that greatly lowers the rate of expression of argE but falls short of known argE markers, we have isolated several derivatives in which the expression of argE is partly restored. In about a third of these strains repression of both E and H enzymes by arginine is almost abolished. The mutations responsible appear to be cis-dominant and to map to the right of argE, probably between argE and C. One mutant in which control of argE alone is affected has also been found; it is shown to carry a duplication of argE in addition to the argCB deletion of the parental strain. We discuss the hypothesis that argE and argCBH form two operons transcribed in opposite directions from an internal promoter-operator complex.
It is also suggested that a secondary promoter exists at or near the argB-H boundary.
KeywordsEnzyme Escherichia Coli Arginine Opposite Direction Gene Cluster
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