Genetic characterization of early amber mutations in the Escherichia coli polA gene and purification of the amber peptides.


The polA1 mutation of Escherichia coli K12 and two further mutations, ...
The polA1 mutation of Escherichia coli K12 and two further mutations, resA1 and resA2, characterized in E. coli B have been shown to produce enzymatically active nonsense (amber) peptides. These enzymes can be purified to virtual homogeneity by use of the lambda polA transducing phage system. The peptides are immunologically related and react weakly but specifically with antibody to whole DNA polymerase I. In their purified form the peptides are less heat-labile than the whole enzyme or the Klenow fragment produced by proteolysis. Physiological studies indicate that all three alleles are compatible with a number of different streptomycin resistance mutations (rpsL alleles) in a variety of genetic backgrounds. There is, however, clear evidence for slight amounts of "read-through" of these mutations under these conditions. DNA sequence studies have indicated the exact nucleotides that have been mutated to produce the amber alleles. The resA1 and resA2 alleles appear to be independent isolates of the same mutation both resulting in CAG (Gln) leads to TAG (amber) at amino acid residue 298. The polA1 mutation results in TGC (Trp) leads to TAG (amber) at amino acid residue 342. The significance of these findings is discussed with reference to the structure of the whole enzyme as shown by the DNA sequence data of Joyce et al. (1982) and protein chemistry of Brown et al. (1982).




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