Functional characterization of a putative internal promoter sequence between the 16S and the 23S RNA genes within the Escherichia coli rrnB operon

M. Zacharias, R. Wagner

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12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Transcription of ribosomal RNAs in Escherichia coli is started from two strong tandem promoters, P1 and P2. tt is known, however, that internal promoter‐like structures occur and in a recent report (Mankin et al., 1987) a promoter sequence Pi within the 16S and 23S RNA spacer region showing good homology to the pro‐karyotic consensus promoter structure was identified. It was proposed that this putative promoter has a possible function in the transcription of ribosomal RNAs in E. coli. Fusion of various DNA fragments containing the putative promoter sequence and different parts of the 16S/23S spacer region as well as the 23S RNA to the galactokinase gene allowed us to assess the functional activity of the promoter in vivo. To determine any growth rate dependent function of the putative promoter, the measurements were performed under different growth conditions. The promoter activity did not exceed 7% of the lac promoter under in vivo assay conditions. In addition, transcription starting at the promoter Pi did not proceed through the entire 23S RNA gene. We conclude, therefore, that transcription from Pi does not contribute significantly to the synthesis of ribosomal RNAs. Thus Its functional significance, if any, remains elusive.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-410
Number of pages6
JournalMolecular Microbiology
Volume3
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1989
Externally publishedYes

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