The optional E. coli prr locus encodes a latent form of phage T4-induced anticodon nuclease

R. Levitz, D. Chapman, M. Amitsur, R. Green, L. Snyder, G. Kaufmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The optional Escherichia coli prr locus restricts phage T4 mutants lacking polynucleotide kinase or RNA ligase. Underlying this restriction is the specific manifestation of the T4-induced anticodon nuclease, an enzyme which triggers the cleavage-ligation of the host tRNA(Lys). We report here the molecular cloning, nucleotide sequence and mutational analysis of prr-associated DNA. The results indicate that prr encodes a latent form of anticodon nuclease consisting of a core enzyme and cognate masking agents. They suggest that the T4-encoded factors of anticodon nuclease counteract the prr-encoded masking agents, thus activating the latent enzyme. The encoding of a tRNA cleavage-ligation pathway by two separate genetic systems which cohabitate E. coli may provide a clue to the evolution of RNA splicing mechanisms mediated by proteins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1383-1389
Number of pages7
JournalEMBO Journal
Volume9
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1990

Keywords

  • RNA ligase
  • T4 stp gene
  • bacterial restriction system
  • polynucleotide kinase
  • tRNA splicing

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