Publications

1977
Messing, J, Gronenborn B, Müller-Hill B, Hans Hopschneider P.  1977.  Filamentous coliphage M13 as a cloning vehicle: insertion of a HindII fragment of the lac regulatory region in M13 replicative form in vitro. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 74:3642-6. AbstractWebsite
A HindII restriction fragment comprising the Escherichia coli lac regulatory region and the genetic information for the alpha peptide of beta-galactosidase (beta-D-galactosidegalactohydrolase, EC. 3.2.1.23) has been inserted into 1 of the 10 Bsu I cleavage sites of M13 by blunt end ligation. A stable hybrid phage was isolated and identified by its ability to complement the lac alpha function. Further characterization of the hybrid phage includes retransformation studies, agarose gel electrophoresis, DNA-DNA hybridization, and heteroduplex mapping. The insertion point has been localized at 0.083 map unit on thewild-type circular map-i.e., within the intergenic region. The results prove that part of the intergenic region is nonessential and that the phage can be used as a cloning vehicle.
1978
1980
Heidecker, G, Messing J, Gronenborn B.  1980.  A versatile primer for DNA sequencing in the M13mp2 cloning system. Gene. 10:69-73. AbstractWebsite
A primer for DNA sequencing by the chain-termination method in the M13mp2 cloning system was constructed and amplified. The primer was isolated as an EcoRI/AluI restriction fragment. After conversion of the AluI end into an EcoRI end the fragment was cloned in pBR325 from which it can be recovered by cleavage with EcoRI. The primer hybridizes to the single-stranded DNA of the mature M13mp2 phage next to the site of insertion thereby directing DNA synthesis along the inserted DNA.
Piomelli, S, Corash L, Corash MB, Seaman C, Mushak P, Glover B, Padgett R.  1980.  Blood lead concentrations in a remote Himalayan population. Science (New York, NY). 210:1135-7. AbstractWebsite
The lead content in the air at the foothills of the Himalayas in Nepal was found to be negligible. The concentration of lead in the blood of 103 children and adults living in this region was found to average 3.4 micrograms per deciliter, a level substantially lower than that found in industrialized populations.
1981
Gardner, RC, Howarth AJ, Hahn P, Brown-Luedi M, Shepherd RJ, Messing J.  1981.  The complete nucleotide sequence of an infectious clone of cauliflower mosaic virus by M13mp7 shotgun sequencing. Nucleic acids research. 9:2871-88. AbstractWebsite
We have determined the complete primary structure (8031 base pairs) of an infectious clone of cauliflower mosaic virus strain CM1841. The sequence was obtained using the strategy of cloning shotgun restriction fragments in the sequencing vector M13mp7. Comparison of the CM1841 sequence with that published for another caMV strain (Strasbourg) reveals 4.4% changes, mostly nucleotide substitutions with a few small insertions and deletions. The six open reading frames in the sequence of the Strasbourg isolate are also present in CM1841.
Geraghty, D, Peifer MA, Rubenstein I, Messing J.  1981.  The primary structure of a plant storage protein: zein. Nucleic acids research. 9:5163-74. AbstractWebsite
The protein sequence of a representative of the zeins, the major storage proteins of maize, has been derived from the nucleotide sequence of a zein cDNA clone. This cDNA was sequence both by the Maxam and Gilbert and the M13-dideoxy techniques. The nucleotide sequence encompasses the non-translated 3' terminus of the mRNA, the entire coding sequence specifying both the mature zein protein and a small signal peptide, and a portion of the non-translated 5' region. The deduced amino acid composition and the amino-terminal amino acid sequence closely resemble those derived from chemical analysis of the zein protein fraction. The data presented represent the first complete amino acid sequence of a plant storage protein.
Messing, J, Crea R, Seeburg PH.  1981.  A system for shotgun DNA sequencing. Nucleic acids research. 9:309-21. AbstractWebsite
A multipurpose cloning site has been introduced into the gene for beta-galactosidase (beta-D-galactosidegalactohydrolase, EC 3.21.23) on the single-stranded DNA phage M13mp2 (Gronenborn, B. and Messing, J., (1978) Nature 272, 375-377) with the use of synthetic DNA. The site contributes 14 additional codons and does not affect the ability of the lac gene product to undergo intracistronic complementation. Two restriction endonuclease cleavage sites in the viral gene II were removed by single base-pair mutations. Using the new phage M13mp7, DNA fragments generated by cleavage with a variety of different restriction endonucleases can be cloned directly. The nucleotide sequences of the cloned DNAs can be determined rapidly by DNA synthesis using chain terminators and a synthetic oligonucleotide primer complementary to 15 bases preceeding the new array of restriction sites.
1982
Larson, R, Messing J.  1982.  Apple II software for M13 shotgun DNA sequencing. Nucleic acids research. 10:39-49. AbstractWebsite
A set of programs is presented for the reconstruction of a DNA sequence from data generated by the M13 shotgun sequencing technique. Once the sequence has been established and stored other programs are used for its analysis. The programs have been written for the Apple II microcomputer. A minimum investment is required for the hardware and the software is easily interchangeable between the growing number of interested researchers. Copies are available in ready to use form.
Hu, NT, Peifer MA, Heidecker G, Messing J, Rubenstein I.  1982.  Primary structure of a genomic zein sequence of maize. The EMBO journal. 1:1337-42. AbstractWebsite
The nucleotide sequence of a genomic clone (termed Z4 ) of the zein multigene family was compared to the nucleotide sequence of related cDNA clones of zein mRNAs. A tandem duplication of a 96-bp sequence is found in the genomic clone that is not present in the related cDNA clones. When the duplication is disregarded, the nucleotide sequence homology between Z4 and its related cDNAs was approximately 97%. The nucleotide sequence is also compared to other isolated cDNAs. No introns in the coding region of the zein gene are detected. The first nucleotide of a putative TATA box, TATAAATA , was located 88 nucleotides upstream of the first nucleotide of the first ATG codon which initiated the open reading frame. The first nucleotide of a putative CCAAT box, CAAAAT , appeared 45 nucleotides upstream of the first nucleotide of the zein cDNA clones in the 3' non-coding region also appeared in the genomic sequence at the same locations. The amino acid composition of the polypeptide specified by the Z4 nucleotide sequence is similar to the known composition of zein proteins.
Vieira, J, Messing J.  1982.  The pUC plasmids, an M13mp7-derived system for insertion mutagenesis and sequencing with synthetic universal primers. Gene. 19:259-68. AbstractWebsite
A series of plasmid vectors containing the multiple cloning site (MCS7) of M13mp7 has been constructed. In one of these vectors a kanamycin-resistance marker has been inserted into the center of the symmetrical MCS7 to yield a restriction-site-mobilizing element (RSM). The drug-resistance marker can be cleaved out of this vector with any of the restriction enzymes that recognize a site of the flanking sequences of the RSM to generate an RSM with either various sticky ends or blunt ends. These fragments can be used for insertion mutagenesis of any target molecule with compatible restriction sites. Insertion mutants are selected by their resistance to kanamycin. When the drug-resistance marker is removed with PstI, a small in-frame insertion can be generated. In addition, two new MCSs having single restriction sites have been formed by altering the symmetrical structure of MCS7. The resulting plasmids pUC8 and pUC9 allow one to clone doubly digested restriction fragments separately with both orientations in respect to the lac promoter. The terminal sequences of any DNA cloned in these plasmids can be characterized using the universal M13 primers.
Geraghty, DE, Messing J, Rubenstein I.  1982.  Sequence analysis and comparison of cDNAs of the zein multigene family. The EMBO journal. 1:1329-35. AbstractWebsite
The nucleotide sequence of two zein cDNAs in hybrid plasmids A20 and B49 have been determined. The insert in A20 is 921 bp long including a 5' non-coding region of 60 nucleotides, preceded by what is believed to be an artifactual sequence of 41 nucleotides, and a 3' non-coding region of 87 nucleotides. The B49 insert is 467 bp long and includes approximately one-half the protein coding sequence as well as a 3' non-coding region of 97 nucleotides. These sequences have been compared with the previously published sequence of another zein clone, A30 . A20 and A30 , both encoding 19 000 mol. wt. zeins , have approximately 85% homology at the nucleotide level. The B49 sequence, corresponding to a 22 000 mol. wt. zein, has approximately 65% homology to either A20 or A30 . All three zeins share common features including nearly identical amino acid compositions. In addition, the tandem repeats of 20 amino acids first seen in A30 are also present in A20 and B49 .
Brown, BA, Padgett RW, Hardies SC, Hutchison CA, Edgell MH.  1982.  β-globin transcript found in induced murine erythroleukemia cells is homologous to the beta h0 and beta h1 genes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 79:2753-7. AbstractWebsite
RNA transcripts complementary to at least one of the four beta-globin homologous genes (beta h) are found in high concentration in the murine erythroleukemic (MEL) cell line GM979 after butyric acid induction. Hybridization data indicate that the gene expressed is Hbb-beta h0 or Hbb-beta h1, or both. The level of beta h0/1 transcripts in the MEL cell is similar to the level of adult transcripts. The Hbb-beta h0/1 transcript is about 800 nucleotides in length. In addition, there is a larger beta h0/1 transcript of the same size and relative intensity as the adult beta-globin precursor. We also report significant levels of embryonic gene Hbb-y transcripts in induced GM979 cells. We have determined that the GM979 cell line has the [Hbb]s haplotype on the basis of an examination of its globin DNA restriction pattern. An additional MEL cell line of haplotype [Hbb]d (DBA/2 line 6A11A) was examined and found to contain no significant level of Hbb-beta h0, Hbb-beta h1, Hbb-beta h2, or Hbb-y gene transcripts.
1983
Norrander, J, Kempe T, Messing J.  1983.  Construction of improved M13 vectors using oligodeoxynucleotide-directed mutagenesis. Gene. 26:101-6. AbstractWebsite
The restriction endonuclease cleavage sites for SphI and KpnI have been added to the lac cloning region of the phage vectors M13mp10 and M13mp11, using oligodeoxynucleotide-directed in vitro mutagenesis. Complementary deoxy 16-, 21- or 18-mers with the desired base changes were annealed to the M13mp DNA strand and extended with the Klenow fragment of DNA polymerase I. In adding these sites we have shown that this technique can be used as a general method for inserting sequences of DNA as well as introducing deletions and base pair changes.
1984
Ebright, RH, Cossart P, Gicquel-Sanzey B, Beckwith J.  1984.  Molecular basis of DNA sequence recognition by the catabolite gene activator protein: detailed inferences from three mutations that alter DNA sequence specificity.. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 81(23):7274-8. Abstract
Previously, we reported that substitution of Glu-181 of the catabolite gene activator protein (CAP) by lysine, leucine, or valine results in a protein that has specificity for A X T base pairs at positions 7 and 16 of the DNA recognition site, rather than G X C base pairs as is the case with the wild-type CAP. In this paper, we deduce from these genetic data both (i) the specific chemical interactions by which amino acid side chains at position 181 interact with base pairs 7 and 16 and (ii) the precise alignment between the structures of the CAP and DNA in the intermolecular CAP-DNA complex. Our analysis supports the idea that the two symmetry-related F alpha-helices of the CAP dimer interact with successive major grooves of right-handed B-type DNA [Pabo, C. & Lewis, M. (1982) Nature (London) 298, 443-447; and Steitz, T., Weber, I. & Matthew, J. (1983) Cold Spring Harbor Symp. Quant. Biol. 47, 419-426].
Ebright, RH, Cossart P, Gicquel-Sanzey B, Beckwith J.  1984.  Mutations that alter the DNA sequence specificity of the catabolite gene activator protein of E. coli.. Nature. 311(5983):232-5. Abstract
Three mutations that alter the DNA sequence specificity of the catabolite gene activator protein (CAP) from AA-TGTGA--T---TCA-ATW to AA-TGTAA--T---TCA-ATW have been isolated. All three mutations affect the same amino acid of CAP, glutamic acid 181. We propose that it is this amino acid of CAP that makes contacts with base pairs 7 and 16 of the symmetrical recognition site.
Farace, MG, Hill A, Tripodi M, Padgett RW, Raschella G, Gambari R, Fantoni A, Hutchison CA, Edgell MH.  1984.  Molecular cloning and sequence analysis of a cDNA coding for the mouse alpha-like embryonic globin chain x. Gene. 31:241-5. AbstractWebsite
Cytoplasmic poly(A)+mRNA from 12-day mouse-yolk-sac erythroid cells has been used to prepare a cDNA library in the plasmid pBR322. One clone containing sequences coding for the alpha-like embryonic globin chain x, pHE52, has been identified by hybrid selection and in vitro translation of the complementary mRNA. The nucleotide sequence of pHE52 confirms that it codes for an embryonic alpha-like globin chain. The insert sequence is 316 nucleotides long, contains the codons corresponding to amino acid residues 43-141, and extends into the 3' untranslated region. An analysis of the nucleotide sequence of pHE52 and the other known alpha globins suggests that the adult-embryonic divergence began approx. 400 million years ago reflecting a difference in the evolutionary history of the alpha- and beta-globin gene complexes.
Hutchison, CA, Hardies SC, Padgett RW, Weaver S, Edgell MH.  1984.  The mouse globin pseudogene βh3 is descended from a premammalian δ-globin gene. J Biol Chem. 259:12881-9. AbstractWebsite
The beta h3 pseudogene of the BALB/c mouse contains sequence defects which prevent transcription and translation to produce a beta-globin. Comparison with other globin gene sequences indicates that beta h3 arose by recombination between an adult beta-globin gene and some significantly diverged globin sequence. Analysis of noncoding sequences shows that the 3' end of mouse beta h3 and the human delta-globin gene are both descended from an ancestral gene, which we call proto-delta. The origin of proto-delta must predate the mammalian radiation. A member of the L1 family of interspersed repetitive elements is inserted into the 3' untranslated delta-homologous sequence in beta h3 from BALB/c. beta h3 is a widespread feature of the rodent beta-globin complex, which has been fixed in the genome for 35 million years. Independent inactivation events produced pseudogenes located between the adult and nonadult beta-globin genes in the rodent, primate, rabbit, and goat lineages. One model to explain the abundance and evolutionary persistence of pseudogenes postulates that the mammalian genome simply has no efficient mechanism for deleting nonessential sequences. Consequently, the genomes of higher eukaryotes have been growing, by the accumulation of duplications, with doubling times of 200 +/- 100 million years.
1985
Norrander, JM, Vieira J, Rubenstein I, Messing J.  1985.  Manipulation and expression of the maize zein storage proteins in Escherichia coli. Journal of biotechnology. 2:157-175.Website
Ebright, RH, Beckwith J.  1985.  The catabolite gene activator protein (CAP) is not required for indole-3-acetic acid to activate transcription of the araBAD operon of Escherichia coli K-12.. Molecular & general genetics : MGG. 201(1):51-5. Abstract
Kline et al. (1980) have reported that indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) and four other indole derivatives are able to substitute for cAMP in activating expression of the ara regulon of E. coli. We have examined this phenomenon in detail, utilizing fusions between the structural gene for beta-galactosidase and the promoters for the araBAD, araE, and araFG operons. We confirm that IAA potently stimulates transcription from the araBAD promoter. The effect is highly specific to araBAD, as IAA has no, or only slight, effects on the araE and araFG operons. However, contrary to the results of Kline et al., we find that the action of IAA does not require CAP. Thus, IAA fully stimulates the transcription of araBAD in a strain which bears a complete deletion of the crp gene.
Duax, WL, Griffin JF, Ebright R.  1985.  Structural basis for chemotherapeutic action of antiestrogens.. Progress in clinical and biological research. 172B:263-73.
Ebright, RH, Le Grice SF, Miller JP, Krakow JS.  1985.  Analogs of cyclic AMP that elicit the biochemically defined conformational change in catabolite gene activator protein (CAP) but do not stimulate binding to DNA.. Journal of molecular biology. 182(1):91-107. Abstract
We have measured the effects on catabolite gene activator protein (CAP) of 22 synthetic analogs of cAMP. Each analog was assayed to test three parameters: (1) binding to CAP; (2) induction of the conformational change in CAP; and (3) activation of transcription. Thus we have identified seven cAMP analogs that bind to CAP as well or better than does cAMP, cause the assayed conformational change in CAP, yet exhibit no ability to activate transcription. We designate these analogs class D. The conformational change elicited in CAP by the class D analogs was further investigated by: (1) sensitivity to the proteolytic enzymes chymotrypsin, Staphylococcus aureus V8 protease, subtilisin and trypsin; (2) formation of inter-subunit covalent crosslinks by 5,5'-dithiobis(2-nitrobenzoic acid); and (3) degree of labeling of cysteine by [3H]N-ethylmaleimide. These experiments failed to detect a conformational difference between the CAP-class D and CAP-cAMP complexes. Filter binding and nuclease protection experiments indicate that the class D analogs do not efficiently support the binding of CAP to DNA. From these results, we suggest that there exists a hitherto undetected event dependent on cAMP, and required for CAP to bind to DNA. We suggest that this event involves a change that takes place in proximity to the N6 atom of cAMP. Three possible interpretations are discussed.
Ebright, RH.  1985.  Use of "loss-of-contact" substitutions to identify residues involved in an amino acid-base pair contact: effect of substitution of Gln18 of lac repressor by Gly, Ser, and Leu.. Journal of biomolecular structure & dynamics. 3(2):281-97. Abstract
A procedure to identify which base pair of lac operator (lacO) a suspected contacting amino acid of Lac repressor (LacR) interacts with is presented. The procedure is to eliminate the ability of the amino acid under study to contact DNA, and then to determine at which base pair--if any--specificity is eliminated. To implement this procedure, four sets of Escherichia coli K-12 strains have been constructed. These strains permit: (i) the substitution of a selected amino acid of LacR by, respectively, Gly, Ser, Leu, or Gln, and (ii) the analysis of the specificity of the resulting substituted LacR with respect to base pairs 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 of lacO. This procedure has been applied to Gln18 of LacR. The preliminary data indicate that LacR (Gln18----Gly) is unable to distinguish between the O+ base pair G:C and the Oc base pair T:A at position 7 of lacO (KDOc/KDO+ = 0.93). In contrast, LacR(Gln18----Gly) discriminates O+ from Oc by a factor of 13 to 23 at each other position. The same qualitative pattern of results was obtained with LacR(Gln18----Ser) and LacR (Gln18----Leu). Therefore, I propose that Gln18 contacts base pair 7 of lacO. This proposal is consistent with the contact predicted in Ebright, R. in Protein Structure, Folding, and Design. D. Oxender ed., Alan R. Liss, New York (1985), in press.
1986
Ebright, RH.  1986.  Evidence for a contact between glutamine-18 of lac repressor and base pair 7 of lac operator.. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 83(2):303-7. Abstract
Glutamine-18 of the lac repressor (lacR) has been substituted by glycine, by serine, and by leucine. The specificities of wild-type lacR and of the three substituted lacR variants have been analyzed with respect to base pairs 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 of the lac operator (lacO). The data indicate that [Gly18]lacR, [Ser18]lacR, and [Leu18]lacR lose the ability to distinguish between the O+ base pair G . C and the Oc base pairs T . A and A . T at position 7 of lacO (KdOc/KdO+ approximately equal to 1). In contrast, the three substituted variants retain the ability to discriminate O+ from Oc at each other position, by factors of 9 to 37. Therefore, I propose that glutamine-18 contacts base pair 7 of lacO. These data suggest that the interaction between the helix-turn-helix motif and DNA may be very similar or identical in lacR and the catabolite gene activator protein.
Ebright, RH, Wong JR, Chen LB.  1986.  Binding of 2-hydroxybenzo(a)pyrene to estrogen receptors in rat cytosol.. Cancer research. 46(5):2349-51. Abstract
The potent carcinogen 2-hydroxybenzo(a)pyrene (2-OH-BP) competes for binding to the estrogen receptor in the cytosol of rat uterus and liver. The dissociation constant (K1) for this interaction is congruent to 2 X 10(-5) M. In contrast, 4-hydroxybenzo(a)pyrene does not bind to the estrogen receptor; 1-hydroxybenzo(a)pyrene, 5-hydroxybenzo(a)pyrene, 6-hydroxybenzo(a)pyrene, and 12-hydroxybenzo(a)pyrene bind less tightly than does 2-OH-BP. These five chemicals are not carcinogenic. We suggest that the estrogen receptor may mediate the carcinogenic effect of 2-OH-BP or of related chemicals. One possibility is that the receptor might convey 2-OH-BP to specific sites in DNA.
Burke, JM, Irvine KD, Kaneko KJ, Kerker BJ, Oettgen AB, Tierney WM, Williamson CL, Zaug AJ, Cech TR.  1986.  Role of conserved sequence elements 9L and 2 in self-splicing of the Tetrahymena ribosomal RNA precursor. Cell. 45:167-76. AbstractWebsite
Oligonucleotide-directed mutagenesis has been used to alter highly conserved sequences within the intervening sequence (IVS) of the Tetrahymena large ribosomal RNA precursor. Mutations within either sequence element 9L or element 2 eliminate splicing activity under standard in vitro splicing conditions. A double mutant with compensatory base changes in elements 9L and 2 has accurate splicing activity restored. Thus, the targeted nucleotides of elements 9L and 2 base-pair with one another in the IVS RNA, and pairing is important for self-splicing. Mutant splicing activities are restored by increased magnesium ion concentrations, supporting the conclusion that the role of the targeted bases in splicing is primarily structural. Based on the temperature dependence, we propose that a conformational switch involving pairing and unpairing of elements 9L and 2 is required for splicing.