The R gene product of bacteriophage lambda is the murein transglycosylase

Mol Gen Genet. 1981;184(1):111-4. doi: 10.1007/BF00271205.


The radioactively labeled proteins synthesised in Escherichia coli minicells infected by bacteriophage lambda R and lambda R+ were compared by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. lambda R mutants, which have lost the ability to lyse host cells, lack a polypeptide of molecular weight 17.5 KD corresponding to the molecular weight of murein transglycosylase - a bacteriolytic enzyme from lambda lysates which we have described previously. It has been shown by direct comparison using radio-labeled enzyme that transglycosylase comigrates with the R gene product. The enzyme was undetectable in induced cultures of E. coli W3350 su degrees (lambda cI857 Ram 5) and C600 (lambda cI857 acR301), while it was present in a lambda Rz mutant lysate. We conclude that the transglycosylase is the R gene product.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacteriophage lambda / genetics*
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Escherichia coli / genetics*
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Genes, Viral*
  • Glycosyltransferases*
  • Peptidoglycan
  • Protein Biosynthesis*
  • Transferases / genetics*


  • Peptidoglycan
  • Transferases
  • Glycosyltransferases
  • murein transglycosylase