Nucleotide sequence and expression of the aceK gene coding for isocitrate dehydrogenase kinase/phosphatase in Escherichia coli

Cortay, J.C.; Bleicher, F.; Rieul, C.; Reeves, H.C.; Cozzone, A.J.

Journal of Bacteriology 170(1): 89-97

1988


ISSN/ISBN: 0021-9193
PMID: 2826408
DOI: 10.1128/jb.170.1.89-97.1988
Accession: 040827548

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Abstract
The flow of isocitrate through the glyoxylate bypass in Escherichia coli is regulated via the phosphorylation-dephosphorylation of isocitrate dehydrogenase mediated by a bifunctional enzyme: isocitrate dehydrogenase kinase/phosphatase. The aceK gene coding for this enzyme is part of the polycistronic ace operon, which also includes the aceB and aceA genes coding, respectively, for malate synthase and isocitrate lyase, the two glyoxylate bypass enzymes. The complete nucleotide sequence of a 2,214-base-pair DNA fragment containing the aceK gene and its 5' flanking region has been determined. In vivo experiments based on gene expression in a minicell system and protein fusion with beta-galactosidase, as well as in vitro assays with a plasmid-directed transcription-translation coupled system, have shown that the aceK gene extends over 1,731 nucleotides encoding a 66,528-dalton protein. The 5' flanking region presents an unusual intercistronic structural pattern consisting of two consecutive long dyad symmetries, almost identical in sequence, which can yield very stable stem-loop units. These structures are probably responsible for the drastic downshifting in expression observed in acetate-grown bacteria between the aceK gene and the aceA gene located immediately upstream in the ace operon.