A genetic analysis of Xis and FIS interactions with their binding sites in bacteriophage lambda

T. E. Numrych, R. I. Gumport, J. F. Gardner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The bacteriophage P22-based challenge-phage system was used to study the binding of Xis and FIS to their sites in attP of bacteriophage lambda. Challenge phages were constructed that contained the X1, X2, and F sites within the P22 P(ant) promoter, which is required for expression of antirepressor. If Xis and FIS bind to these sites in vivo, they repress transcription from P(ant), allowing lysogenization to occur. Challenge phages carrying the X1X2F region in either orientation exhibited lysogenization dependent on both Xis and FIS. Neither Xis nor FIS was capable of functioning by itself as an efficient repressor in this system. This was the first time challenge phages have been constructed that require two different proteins bound simultaneously to act as a repressor. Mutations in the X1, X2, and F sites that inhibit Xis and FIS from binding were isolated by selecting mutant phages that still expressed antirepressor synthesis in the presence of Xis and FIS. DNA sequence analysis of the mutants revealed 38 unique mutations, including single-base-pair substitutions, multiple-base-pair changes, deletions, and insertions throughout the entire X1, X2, and F regions. Some of the mutations verified the importance of certain bases within the proposed consensus sequences for Xis and FIS, while others provided evidence that the DNA sequence outside of the proposed binding sites may affect the binding of the individual proteins or the cooperativity between them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5954-5963
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Issue number19
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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