The bacteriophage P22-based challenge phage system was used to study the binding of integration host factor (IHF) to its H' recognition site in the attP region of bacteriophage lambda. We constructed challenge phages that carried H' inserts in both orientations within the P22 P(ant) promoter, which is required for antirepressor synthesis. We found that IHF repressed expression of P(ant) from either challenge phage when expressed from an inducible P(tac) promoter on a plasmid vector. Mutants containing changes in the H' inserts that decrease or eliminate IHF binding were isolated by selecting challenge phages that could synthesize antirepressor in the presence of IHF. Sequence analysis of 31 mutants showed that most changes were base pair substitutions within the H' insert. Approximately one-half of the mutants contained substitutions that changed base pairs that are part of the IHF consensus binding site; mutants were isolated that contained substitutions at six of the nine base pairs of the consensus site. Other mutants contained changes at base pairs between the two subdeterminants of the H' site, at positions that are not specified in the consensus sequence, and in the dA+dT-rich region that flanks the consensus region of the site. Taken together, these results show that single-base-pair changes at positions outside of the proposed consensus bases can weaken or drastically disrupt IHF binding to the mutated site.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology