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Cloning and characterization of the N-acetylglucosamine operon of Escherichia coli.

Peri K.G., Goldie H., Waygood E.B.

Three enzymes are required for N-acetylglucosamine (NAG) utilization in Escherichia coli: enzyme IInag (gene nagE), N-acetylglucosamine-6-phosphate deacetylase (gene nagA), and glucosamine-6-phosphate isomerase (gene nagB). The three genes are located near 16 min on the E. coli chromosome. A strain of E. coli, KPN9, incapable of utilizing N-acetylglucosamine, was used to screen a genomic library of E. coli for a complementing recombinant colicin E1 plasmid that allowed for growth on N-acetylglucosamine. Plasmid pLC5-21 was found to contain all three known nag genes on a 5.7-kilobase (5.7-kb) fragment of DNA. The products of these nag genes were identified by complementation of E. coli strains with mutations in nagA, nagB, and nagE. The gene products from the 5.7-kb fragment were identified by [35S]methionine-labelled maxicells and autoradiography of sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide electrophoresis gels. The gene products had the following relative masses (Mrs: nagE, 62,000; nagA, 45,000; nagB, 29,000. In addition, another product of Mr 44,000 was detected. The genes have been sequenced to reveal an additional open reading frame (nagC), a putative catabolite activator protein binding site that may control nagB and nagE, putative rho-independent terminator sites for nagB and nagE, and sequence homologies for RNA polymerase binding sites preceding each of the open reading frames, except for nagA. The calculated molecular weight (MWs) of the gene products derived from the sequence are as follows: nagA, 40,954; nagB, 29,657; nagC, 44,664; nagE, 68,356. No role is known for nagC, although a number of regulatory roles appear to be plausible. No obvious transcriptional termination site distal to nagC was found and another open reading frame begins after nagC. This gene, nagD, was isolated separately from pLC5-21, and the sequence revealed a protein with a calculated MW of 27,181. The nagD gene is followed by repetitive extragenic palindromic sequences. The nag genes appear to be organized in an operon: nagD nagC nagA nagB nagE.

Biochem. Cell Biol. 68:123-137(1990) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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