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Initiation, attenuation and RNase III processing of transcripts from the Escherichia coli operon encoding ribosomal protein S15 and polynucleotide phosphorylase

Initiation, attenuation and RNase III processing of transcripts from the Escherichia coli operon encoding ribosomal protein S15 and polynucleotide phosphorylase

Journal of Molecular Biology 187(1): 23-32

ISSN/ISBN: 0022-2836

PMID: 3007765

DOI: 10.1016/0022-2836(86)90403-1

The rpsO gene of Escherichia coli, which encodes ribosomal protein S15 is located at 69 minutes on the chromosome. It is adjacent to the pnp gene, which encodes polynucleotide phosphorylase. The two genes are separated by 249 nucleotides and are transcribed in the same direction. We report here in vivo S1 nuclease mapping and in vitro transcription experiments that demonstrate that rpsO and pnp are cotranscribed from a promoter P1, located 108 nucleotides upstream from rpsO, and that another promoter P2, located between the two genes 158 nucleotides upstream from pnp, also directs the transcription of pnp. Transcription from P1 can either terminate at the terminator t1 identified in vivo and in vitro, 18 nucleotides downstream from rpsO, or transcribe through t1 and into pnp. Comparison of the transcripts synthesized in wild-type and RNase III-deficient strains of E. coli shows that all the P1 readthrough transcripts and P2 transcripts are cleaved by RNase III. Two specific cuts are made by RNase III in a double-stranded structure about 100 nucleotides upstream rpsO. We also found that some transcripts of this operon start 47 nucleotides downstream from rpsO, in the region of t1. No promoter has been identified in this region. This mRNA is attributed to an endonucleolytic cleavage of the polycistronic transcripts and the location of the cut is named M. The order of the transcription signals and of the maturation sites in relation to rpsO and pnp can be summarized as follows: P1, rpsO, t1, M, P2, RNase III-processing sites, pnp. The possible roles of mRNA processing events in the expression of rpsO-pnp operon are discussed.

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Accession: 040453786

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