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By Mark Ptashne

The 1st version of Mark Ptashne's 1986 e-book describing the foundations of gene legislation in phage lambda grew to become a vintage in either content material and shape, atmosphere a typical of readability and special prose that has hardly ever been bettered. This version is a reprint of the unique textual content, including a brand new bankruptcy updating the tale to 2004. one of the amazing new advancements are fresh findings on long-range interactions among proteins certain to broadly separated websites at the phage genome, and a close description of the way gene activation works.

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13 shows the identities of certain amino acids at corresponding positions of the bihelical structure that are the same or are chemically similar (“con-served”) in repressor and Cro. ) Three of these amino acids are in the elbow between the two helices, and two, connected by a line in the figure, lie one in each helix. These residues evidently serve to maintain the constant angle between the two helices. A sixth conserved residue is found at the top of the helix preceding the recognition helix. This amino acid interacts with a phosphate in the backbone of one of the DNA strands, thereby helping to position the bihelical structure properly on the DNA.

The integration and excision reactions, shown in the figures as involving only DNA molecules, are driven in the cell by phage proteins that work in conjunction with proteins of the host. The phage protein Int drives the integration reaction, and the combined efforts of Int and Xis promote the excision reaction. 3. For each stage a figure shows the active regulatory protein(s) and the relevant mRNAs synthesized. The first two stages are identical whether the phage is to lyse or lysogenize. Very Early The host RNA polymerase binds to two promoters on the phage chromosome, PL and PR, and begins transcription.

1981). λ repressor and cro-components of an efficient molecular switch. Nature 294, 217-233. 3. Lwoff, A. (1953). Lysogeny. Bacteriol. Rev. 17, 269. 4. Ptashne, M. (1984). Repressors. Trends Biochem. Sci. 9, 142-145. 5. T. (1976). Autoregulation and function of a repressor in bacteriophage λ. Science 194, 156161. 6. Ptashne, M. and Gilbert, W. (1970). Genetic repressors. Sci. Am. 222, 36-44. 7. T. (1980). How the λ repressor and Cro work. Cell 19, 1-11. 8. Roberts, J. and Devoret, R. (1983). Lysogenic induction.

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