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The tum gene of coliphage 186, encoded on a LexA controlled operon, is essential for UV induction of a 186 prophage. Primer extension analysis is used to confirm that Tum is the sole phage function required for prophage induction and that it acts against the maintenance repressor, CI, to relieve repression of the lytic promoters, pR and pB, and thereby bring about lytic development. In vitro experiments with purified proteins demonstrate that Tum prevents CI binding to its operator sites. Tum does not compete with CI for binding sites on DNA, and unlike RecA mediated induction of lambda prophage, the action of Tum on CI is reversible. Mechanisms by which Tum may act against CI are discussed.


K E Shearwin, A M Brumby, J B Egan. The Tum protein of coliphage 186 is an antirepressor. The Journal of biological chemistry. 1998 Mar 6;273(10):5708-15

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PMID: 9488703

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