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J Bacteriol. 1974 May; 118(2): 374–384.
PMCID: PMC246768

Role of the leu-3 Cistron in the Regulation of the Synthesis of Isoleucine and Valine Biosynthetic Enzymes of Neurospora


The production by Neurospora of the enzymes of isoleucine and valine synthesis in response to specific end product-derived signals depends upon the presence of an effective leu-3 regulatory product and its effector α-isopropylmalate (α-IPM). In leu-3+ strains, threonine deaminase production is repressed as a function of available isoleucine, acetohydroxy acid synthetase as a function of valine, and the isomeroreductase and dihydroxy acid dehydratase as a function of isoleucine and leucine. In the absence of an effective leu-3 regulatory product, α-isopropylmalate, or both, the production of isoleucine and valine biosynthetic enzymes is fixed at or near fully repressed levels even under conditions of severe end product limitation. Thus, in addition to its involvement in the regulation of expression of the three structural genes of leucine synthesis, the leu-3 α-IPM regulatory product is necessary for full expression of at least four genes specifying the structure of the enzymes of isoleucine and valine synthesis. It is suggested that the leu-3 α-IPM regulatory element may facilitate transcription of the genetically dispersed cistrons either by imposing specificity on ribonucleic acid polymerase for structurally similar promoters adjacent to each of the cistrons or by “opening” promoters after interaction with nearly identical stretches of deoxyribonucleic acid near each of the structural genes.

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