Mutations that affect the efficiency of translation of mRNA for the cII gene of coliphage lambda

Genetics. 1987 Apr;115(4):585-90. doi: 10.1093/genetics/115.4.585.


Starting with the lambda pRE-strain lambda ctr1 cy3008, which forms clear plaques, we have isolated two mutant strains, lambda dya2 ctr1 cy3008 and lambda dya3 ctr1 cy3008, that form plaques with very slightly turbid centers. The dya2 and dya3 mutations lie in the region of overlap between the PRE promoter and the ribosome recognition region of the cII gene, and have nucleotide alterations at positions -1 and +5 of pRE, and alterations in cII mRNA at -16 and -21 nucleotides before the initial AUG codon of the gene. Both mutations destabilize a stem structure that may be formed by cII mRNA, and dya2 also changes the sequence on cII mRNA that is complementary to the 3'-end of 16 S rRNA from 5'-UAAGGA-3' to 5'-UGAGGA-3'. --The dya2 and dya3 mutations, along with the ctr1 mutation, which destabilizes either of two alternate stem structures which may be formed by cII mRNA (these being more stable stem structures than the one affected by dya2 and dya3), were tested for their ability to reverse two cII-mutations that are characterized by inefficient translation of cII mRNA. These are cII3088, an A----G mutation four bases before the initial AUG codon, and cII3059, a GUU----GAU (Val2----Asp) second codon mutation. It was found that ctr1 completely reverses the translation defects of these two mutations, while dya2 partially reverses these translation defects. The dya3 mutation has no effect on translation efficiency under any condition tested.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bacteriophage lambda / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • Escherichia coli / genetics*
  • Genes, Viral*
  • Mutation*
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Protein Biosynthesis*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics*


  • RNA, Messenger