Two proteins encoded at the chlA locus constitute the converting factor of Escherichia coli chlA1.
Molybdopterin (MPT) is not produced by the Escherichia coli mutants chlA1, chlM, or chlN or by the Neurospora crassa mutant nit-1. Extracts of E. coli chlA1 contain an activity, the converting factor, which is functionally defined by its ability to convert a low-molecular-weight precursor present in crude extracts of N. crassa nit-1 into molybdopterin in vitro. In this study, it has been shown that the converting factor consists of two associative proteins (10 and 25 kilodaltons [kDa]) which can be separated by using either anion-exchange or gel filtration chromatography. Neither protein is able to complement extracts of nit-1 by itself. Analysis of chlA Mu insertion mutants has shown that the two proteins are distinct gene products encoded at the chlA locus. Twelve chlA Mu insertion strains which lacked converting factor activity were deficient in one or both of the proteins. Converting factor activity could be generated by mixing extracts from strains having the 25-kDa protein with those having the 10-kDa protein but not those lacking both proteins. Finally, it was shown that the chlM mutant lacks the 10-kDa protein while the chlN mutant, which contains both the 10- and 25-kDa proteins, lacks a function required to activate the 10-kDa protein.
Pitterle, DM; Rajagopalan, KV
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