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J Bacteriol. Apr 1977; 130(1): 429–440.
PMCID: PMC235221
Escherichia coli mutants deficient in the aspartate and aromatic amino acid aminotransferases.
D H Gelfand and R A Steinberg
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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