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Abstract

In 1961, Jacob and Monod proposed the operon model of gene expression and its negative control primarily from the experimental results obtained by these authors and their colleagues studying the induced synthesis of proteins involved in the utilization of sugar lactose and development of bacteriophage X from a prophage state in Escherichia coli. 1 The experiments and arguments used in formulating the model revolved around genetic analysis of these two systems. To explain the results of the lactose system, they suggested the théorie de la double négativité. In the double negative control of the induced synthesis of lactose enzymes, in summary, a repressor protein binds to a DNA element, called an operator, and represses gene expression by inhibiting transcription initiation from the promoter which controls a set of contiguous structural genes (operon or transcription unit). When present, an inducer binds to the repressor inhibiting the operator-binding activity of the repressor by a mechanism which is called allosteric modification2 and allows transcription initiation of the operon. By analyzing the regulation of the genes encoding enzymes of arabinose utilization (the ara operon) in E. coli, Engelsberg and his colleagues, in 1965, proposed that regulation of transcription initiation can also occur through a mechanism of positive control.3

Keywords

Transcription Initiation Cooperative Binding cAMP Receptor Protein Cold Spring Harbor Symposium Catabolite Activator Protein 
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© R.G. Landes Company 1996

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  • Sankar Adhya

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