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Regulatory mechanisms in the biosynthesis of enzymes for the metabolism of galactose in Escherichia coli K12. HI. The effect of derepression produced by the development of phage lambda



Regulatory mechanisms in the biosynthesis of enzymes for the metabolism of galactose in Escherichia coli K12. HI. The effect of derepression produced by the development of phage lambda



Jour Molecular Biol 7(6): 610-631



During the vegetative development of Gal+ transducing phages in Gal- cells of E. coli, the inducible enzyme galactokinase is synthesized constitutively. A similar, albeit weaker, constitutive synthesis of this enzyme also occurs upon irradiation of Gal+ cells carrying the wild-type [lambda] prophage. On the other hand, the infection of Gal+ cells by a [lambda] phage reduces the rate of induced synthesis of the enzyme. The preliminary association of the Gal+ genes with a [lambda] prophage (or with topologically related prophages) in a structural unit appears to be essential to the derepression of the bacterial enzyme synthesis. The constitutive synthesis does not seem to result from an increase in the number of the Gal operons in the cell, since it occurs at maximal rate after induction of defective [lambda] prophages, which are unable to replicate their own genome. Also, it is not significantly affected by the presence of an inhibitor of DNA synthesis (phenylethylalcohol) during [lambda] Gal+ vegetative development. The experimental results suggest that the primary transcription of host genes in close association with a vegetative viral genome can occur under conditions of complete insensitivity, or inaccessibility, to the specific cellular repressor.

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