The optional E. coli prr locus encodes a latent form of phage T4-induced anticodon nuclease

Ruth Levitz, Daphne Chapman, Michal Amitsur, Robert Green, Larry Snyder, Gabriel Kaufmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


The optional Escherichia coli prr locus restricts phage T4 mutants lacking polynucleotide kinase or RNA ligase. Underlying this restriction is the specific manifestation of the T4-induced anticodon nuclease, an enzyme which triggers the cleavage-ligation of the host tRNA(Lys). We report here the molecular cloning, nucleotide sequence and mutational analysis of prr-associated DNA. The results indicate that prr encodes a latent form of anticodon nuclease consisting of a core enzyme and cognate masking agents. They suggest that the T4-encoded factors of anticodon nuclease counteract the prr-encoded masking agents, thus activating the latent enzyme. The encoding of a tRNA cleavage-ligation pathway by two separate genetic systems which cohabitate E. coli may provide a clue to the evolution of RNA splicing mechanisms mediated by proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1383-1389
Number of pages7
JournalEMBO Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1990


  • RNA ligase
  • T4 stp gene
  • bacterial restriction system
  • polynucleotide kinase
  • tRNA splicing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'The optional E. coli prr locus encodes a latent form of phage T4-induced anticodon nuclease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this