Site-specific Recognition of the Bacteriophage Mu Ends by the Mu A Protein

Cell. 1984 Dec;39(2 Pt 1):387-94. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(84)90017-5.


The Mu A protein binds site-specifically to the ends of Mu DNA. Two blocks of protection against nuclease are seen at the left (L) end; the right (R) end exhibits one continuous block of protection. We interpret the nuclease protection pattern and sequence data as evidence for three Mu A protein binding sites at each end of Mu. Both the L and R ends have one site close to the terminus; each end also has two additional sites that differ in location between the L and R ends. The Mu A protein protection patterns on the L ends of Mu and the closely related phage D108 are, despite many interspersed sequence differences in one of the protected regions, essentially identical. We show that the A proteins of Mu and D108 can function, at different efficiencies, interchangeably on the Mu and D108 L ends in vivo. Purified Mu repressor, in addition to its primary binding in the operator region, also binds less strongly to the Mu ends at the same sites as the Mu A protein. This affinity of Mu repressor for DNA sites recognized by the Mu A protein may play a role as a second level of control of transposition by the repressor.

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Coliphages / drug effects
  • Coliphages / genetics*
  • DNA Restriction Enzymes
  • DNA, Viral / metabolism*
  • Deoxyribonuclease I
  • Escherichia coli / genetics*
  • Plasmids
  • Protein Binding
  • Viral Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Viral Proteins / metabolism*
  • Zinostatin / pharmacology


  • DNA, Viral
  • Viral Proteins
  • Zinostatin
  • DNA Restriction Enzymes
  • Deoxyribonuclease I

Associated data

  • GENBANK/M10177
  • GENBANK/M10190
  • GENBANK/M10191