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J Bacteriol. 1977 April; 130(1): 429–440.
PMCID: PMC235221

Escherichia coli mutants deficient in the aspartate and aromatic amino acid aminotransferases.

Abstract

Two new mutations are described which, together, eliminate essentially all the aminotransferase activity required for de novo biosynthesis of tyrosine, phenylalanine, and aspartic acid in a K-12 strain of Escherichia coli. One mutation, designated tyrB, lies at about 80 min on the E. coli map and inactivates the "tyrosine-repressible" tyrosine/phenylalanine aminotransferase. The second mutation, aspC, maps at about 20 min and inactivates a nonrespressible aspartate aminotransferase that also has activity on the aromatic amino acids. In ilvE- strains, which lack the branched-chain amino acid aminotransferase, the presence of either the tyrosine-repressible aminotransferase or the aspartate aminotransferase is sufficient for growth in the absence of exogenous tyrosine, phenylalanine, or aspartate; the tyrosine-repressible enzyme is also active in leucine biosynthesis. The ilvE gene product alone can reverse a phenylalanine requirement. Biochemical studies on extracts of strains carrying combinations of these aminotransferase mutations confirm the existence of two distinct enzymes with overlapping specificities for the alpha-keto acid analogues of tyrosine, phenylalanine, and aspartate. These enzymes can be distinguished by electrophoretic mobilities, by kinetic parameters using various substrates, and by a difference in tyrosine repressibility. In extracts of an ilvE- tyrB- aspC- triple mutant, no aminotransferase activity for the alpha-keto acids of tyrosine, phenylalanine, or aspartate could be detected.

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