The purA gene of Thiobacillus ferrooxidans encoding adenylosuccinate synthetase [EC 188.8.131.52] was identified in the upstream region of the iro gene encoding Fe(II)-oxidase (J. Biol. Chem 267:11242-11247, 1992). The purA gene consisted of 1290 base-pairs, which translated into a 29-amino-acid protein. The gene is functionally active, because it is able to complement an Escherichia coli purA-deficient strain. The deduced gene product has a high degree (60.9%) of sequence identity with that (432 aa) of E. coli purA gene, and both the products share GDEGKGK-DETG-TKLD sequences which are supposed to be GTP-binding domain. The downstream region of the iro gene contained another open-reading frame (ORF) of 1218 bp, and this showed high homlogy (56.6% over 249 bp) with E. coli ORF-II, which is found as a second ORF and truncated form in the downstream region of the purA gene. Comparison of the gene organization in the flanking region of purA gene between T. ferrooxidans and E. coli is also described.
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