American Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology

Assessment of Site Specific Mutational Effect on Transcription Initiation at Escherichia coli Promoter

S. Kannan, M. Krishnan, S. Sundarraj, C. Meenambigai and M. Vimaladevi

DOI : 10.3844/ajbbsp.2009.54.58

American Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology

Volume 5, Issue 2

Pages 54-58


Problem statement: It is widely accepted thought that the weak promoters control the RNA synthesis and play regulatory role in complex genetic networks in bacterial system. An experiment had been designed to address whether mutations in the -16/-17 region affect the rate of transcription at an activator-independent promoter in E. coli or not? Approach: The aim of this study was to determine whether mutations in the -16/-17 region affect the rate of expression at an activator-dependent promoter in JM109 strain of E. coli. Primers were constructed to amplify the mutant promoter genes through PCR. The amplified PCR product was checked and then inserted into the MCS region of pAA128 plasmid. Further the plasmid vector was transformed into JM109 strain of E. coli and then cloned the selected transformats. Finally, the plasmid from each mutant colony was then sequenced using the protocol supplied with the Amersham Pharmacia Biotech T7 sequencing Kit. The JM109 cultures for which the sequences were determined, then assayed for β-galactosidase activity to assess the rate of gene expression from the altered promoters. Results: The present investigation revealed that the extended-10 promoter region has a substantial effect on the rate of transcription at weak promoter sequence and also bearing little resemblance to the consensus sequence recognized by RNA. The expression of the genetically engineered plasmid proved that the 2 bps (-16 and -17 base pair) found adjacently upstream of the extended-10 promoter have an effect on the level of transcription. This was achieved by site specific base substitutions into the weak promoter of a modified lac operon lacking any activator or repressor binding sites. The results from gene expression assays of several mutants showed a distinct preference for either GG or TT located adjacently upstream of the extended promoter element. Thus the present study emphasized that extended promoter region also played a key role in regulation transcription initiation in JM109 strain of E. coli. Conclusion: The present study concluded that the site specific changed in the extended promoter regions, particularly the-17/-16 base pairs had greater influence in the transcription initiation in E. coli. Thus the promoter engineering study will definitely pave the way to do both, on or off the genetic switches in bacterial system according to our needs to produce high protein of interest or decrease or block the expression of a particular unwanted protein.


© 2009 S. Kannan, M. Krishnan, S. Sundarraj, C. Meenambigai and M. Vimaladevi. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.