Functional elements of the promoter, leader and intergenic spacer regions of ribosomal RNA operon(s) of mycobacteria

Ji, Y. (1993). Functional elements of the promoter, leader and intergenic spacer regions of ribosomal RNA operon(s) of mycobacteria. PhD thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000e04b

Abstract

This study was focused on the promoter and non-coding regions of the ribosomal RNA (rrn) operon(s) of mycobacteria; namely, the leader and the intergenic spacer regions. Two clones containing the promoter sequences of M .leprae and M. tuberculosis rrn operon were sequenced, their promoter elements were identified by primer extension experiments and by comparison with E.coli consensus promoter sequences. Their function was tested in E.coli and M. smegmatis. The sequences of the leader and intergenic spacer regions from eight and six species respectively were established after amplification by means of peR. Both leader and spacer regions contain antitermination elements and RNaseIII processing sites. The sequences established for these two regions also showed greater variability than the 168 rRNA gene and are suitable for phylogenetic studies. The sequences of the two rrn operons of M.smegmatis upstream from the 168 rRNA gene were cloned and sequenced. Their sequences showed that rrnI has a Box B element which is typical of slow-growers and that rrnII does not. Primer extension studies revealed that the rrn operon of slow-growers has a single promoter. In contrast multiple promoters were identified in the faster-growing M.smegmatis. Distinctive features, which are absent from slow-growers, were identified in the intergenic spacer regions of M. smegmatis.

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