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Multicopy suppressors, mssA and mssB, of an smbA mutation of Escherichia coli.

Yamanaka K., Ogura T., Koonin E.V., Niki H., Hiraga S.

We have isolated and characterized two multicopy suppressors, mssA and mssB, which suppress the cold-sensitive growth phenotype of the smbA2 mutant of Escherichia coli. The mssA gene is located immediately upstream of the rpsA gene (20.5 min). MssA protein was found to be related to nucleoside monophosphate kinases. The mssB gene was found to be identical to the deaD gene (69 min), which encodes a putative RNA helicase. The SmbA protein belongs to the aspartokinase family and probably represents a new, fourth aspartokinase species in E. coli. Expression of the smbA gene is essential for cell growth. The smbA2 mutant shows a pleiotropic phenotype characterized by cold-sensitive growth, hypersensitivity to the detergent sodium dodecyl sulfate, and formation of a translucent segment at midcell or at a pole of the cell when grown at 22 degrees C. In addition, some cellular proteins were either increased or decreased in amount in the smbA2 mutant. SmbA may be a regulatory factor in the expression of a battery of genes. MssA and MssB might also relate to the expression of some of these genes. Multiple copies mssA and mssB suppressed the various phenotypic features of the smbA2 mutant to various extents, suppressing the cold-sensitive growth completely.

Mol. Gen. Genet. 243:9-16(1994) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]