Isolation and Characterization of Mutants of Escherichia coli K12 Affected in Protein Localization

Thomas J. Silhavy, Jonathan Beckwith

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This chapter discusses the isolation and characterization of mutants of Escherichia coli K12 affected in protein localization. The chapter discusses the techniques that are used for isolation and characterization of gene fusions and describes various procedures that can be used to isolate mutants that exhibit an alteration in the export process. The most useful gene fusions for studying protein localization are those that produce a hybrid protein comprising an NH2-terminal fragment of an exported protein and a carboxylic acid (COOH)-terminal fragment of a protein to serve as a label for biochemical identification of the hybrid molecule. With the advent of recombinant DNA (rDNA) techniques, any one of a number of different proteins could be chosen to serve as a label. The chapter illustrates the use of enzyme β-galactosidase. The nature of the enzyme β-galactosidase distinguishes lactose metabolism from most other biochemical pathways and makes it easy to analyze. β-galactosidase is particularly amenable to gene fusion techniques because the NH2-terminal portion of the enzyme can be removed and replaced by an NH2-terminal fragment from any other protein, and yet the hybrid can retain β-galactosidase activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-40
Number of pages30
JournalMethods in enzymology
Issue numberC
StatePublished - Jan 1 1983

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry


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