Use of high and low level overexpression plasmids to test mutant alleles of the recF gene of Escherichia coli K-12 for partial activity.

TitleUse of high and low level overexpression plasmids to test mutant alleles of the recF gene of Escherichia coli K-12 for partial activity.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1993
AuthorsSandler SJ, Clark AJ
Date Published1993 Nov
KeywordsAlleles, Bacterial Proteins, Base Sequence, Chromosomes, Bacterial, DNA Repair, DNA, Bacterial, DNA-Binding Proteins, Escherichia coli, Escherichia coli Proteins, Gene Expression, Genes, Bacterial, Molecular Sequence Data, Mutagenesis, Site-Directed, Mutation, Phenotype, Plasmids, Radiation Tolerance, Recombination, Genetic, Ultraviolet Rays

We showed that sufficient overexpression of the wild-type recF gene interfered with three normal cell functions: (1) UV induction of transcription from the LexA-protein-repressed sulA promoter, (2) UV resistance and (3) cell viability at 42 degrees. To show this, we altered a low-level overexpressing recF+ plasmid with a set of structurally neutral mutations that increased the rate of expression of recF. The resulting high-level overexpressing plasmid interfered with UV induction of the sulA promoter, as did the low-level overexpressing plasmid. It also reduced UV resistance more than its low level progenitor and decreased viability at 42 degrees, an effect not seen with the low-level plasmid. We used the high-level plasmid to test four recF structural mutations for residual activity. The structural alleles consisted of an insertion mutation, two single amino acid substitution mutations and a double amino acid substitution mutation. On the Escherichia coli chromosome the three substitution mutations acted similarly to a recF deletion in reducing UV resistance in a recB21 recC22 sbcB15 sbcC201 genetic background. By this test, therefore, all three appeared to be null alleles. Measurements of conjugational recombination revealed, however, that the three substitution mutations may have residual activity. On the high-level overexpressing plasmid all three substitution mutations definitely showed partial activity. By contrast, the insertion mutation on the high-level overexpressing plasmid showed no partial activity and can be considered a true null mutation. One of the substitutions, recF143, showed a property attributable to a leaky mutation. Another substitution, recF4101, may block selectively two of the three interference phenotypes, thus allowing us to infer a mechanism for them.

Alternate JournalGenetics
PubMed ID8293970