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Mutagenesis of the folC gene encoding folylpolyglutamate synthetase-dihydrofolate synthetase in Escherichia coli.

Kimlova L.J., Pyne C., Keshavjee K., Huy J., Beebakhee G., Bognar A.L.

The folC gene of Escherichia coli, cloned in a pUC19 vector, was mutagenized by progressive deletions from both the 5' and the 3' ends and by TAB linker insertion. A number of 5'-deleted genes, which had the initiator ATG codon removed, produced a truncated gene product, in reduced amounts, from a secondary initiation site. The most likely position of this site at a GTG codon located 35 codons downstream of the normal start site. This product could complement the folC mutation in E. coli strain SF4 as well as a strain deleted in the folC gene. The specific activity of extracts of the mutant enzyme are 4-16% that of the wild type enzyme for the folylpolyglutamate synthetase activity and 6-19% for the dihydrofolate synthetase activity. The relative amount of protein expressed by the mutant, compared to the wild type, in maxicells was comparable to the relative specific activity, suggesting that the kcat of the mutant enzyme is similar to that of the wild type. Mutants with up to 14 amino acids deleted from the carboxy terminal could still complement the folC deletion mutant. Seven out of ten linker insertions dispersed through the coding region of the gene showed complementation of the folC mutation in strain SF4 but none of these insertion mutants were able to complement the strain containing a deleted folC gene. None of the carboxy terminal or linker insertion mutants had a specific activity greater than 0.5% that of the wild type enzyme. The dihydrofolate synthetase and folylpolyglutamate synthetase activities behaved similarly in all mutants, both retaining a large fraction of the wild type activity in the amino terminal deletions and both being very low in the carboxy terminal deletions and linker insertion mutants. These studies are consistent with a single catalytic site for the two activities catalyzed by this enzyme.

Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 284:9-16(1991) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]