Defective regulation of the phenylalanine biosynthetic operon in mutants of the phenylalanyl-tRNA synthetase operon

S. A. Borg-Olivier, D. Tarlinton, K. D. Brown

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Among mutants of Escherichia coli resistant to p-fluorophenylalanine (PFP) were some with constitutive expression of the phenylalanine biosynthetic operon (the pheA operon). This operon is repressed in the wild type by phenylalanine. The mutation in three of these mutants mapped in the aroH-aroD region of the E. coli chromosome at 37 min. A plasmid bearing wild-type DNA from this region restored p-fluorophenylalanine sensitivity and wild-type repression of the pheA operon. Analysis of subclones of this plasmid and comparison of its restriction map with published maps indicated hat the mutations affecting regulation of the pheA operon lie in the structural genes for phenylalanyl-tRNA synthetase, pheST, probably in pheS. Thus, the pheST operon has a role in the regulation of phenylalanine biosynthesis, the most likely being that wild-type phenylalanyl-tRNA synthetase maintains a sufficient intracellular concentration of Phe-tRNA(Phe) for attenuation of the pheA operon in the presence of phenylalanine. A revised gene order for the 37-min region of the chromosome is reported. Read clockwise, the order is aroD, aroH, pheT, and pheS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1949-1953
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Bacteriology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1987

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