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Journal Articles Journal of Biological Chemistry Year : 1996

Conversion of Thymidylate Synthase into an HIV Protease Substrate

Jean-Jacques Kupiec
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Stéphane Hazebrouck
Pierre Sonigo
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Abstract

Thymidylate synthase (TS) is an essential enzyme of DNA metabolism. We have carried out an extensive insertional mutagenesis of the Escherichia coli TS gene (thyA) using three different methods. Insertion of exogenous sequences at unique restriction sites or at random positions produced defective mutants, whereas comparison of TS sequences from different species allowed us to identify six zones permissive for insertions of exogenous sequences. The insertion of Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) protease substrate sequences into the permissive sites converted TS to an HIV-1 protease substrate, and the in vivo cleavage of these insertions by the cloned HIV-1 protease conferred a thymidylate synthase-deficient phenotype in some of our E. coli mutant strains. In agreement with crystallographic data, these results show that the permissive sites are located in regions of the TS protein not essential for enzyme activity and accessible to cleavage by HIV protease. These results also show that it is possible to control a growth phenotype in E. coli through the protease-mediated destruction of an essential metabolic enzyme. Because both wild type and thymidylate synthase-deficient phenotypes are selectable on the appropriate growth medium, these thyA mutants could be used for genetic selections of protease inhibitors and analysis of protease specificities.
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hal-03889740 , version 1 (04-09-2023)

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Jean-Jacques Kupiec, Stéphane Hazebrouck, Thierry Leste-Lasserre, Pierre Sonigo. Conversion of Thymidylate Synthase into an HIV Protease Substrate. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 1996, 271 (31), pp.18465-18470. ⟨10.1074/jbc.271.31.18465⟩. ⟨hal-03889740⟩
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