Summary: Host Factor (HF) is a heat-stable RNA-binding protein required along with Qβ replicase for transcription of coliphage Qβ RNA. We have found that HF activity and antigenicity are conserved among certain Gram-negative bacterial species. We examined selected species within the genus for the presence of the HF polypeptide's antigenicity and Qβ RNA replication function. While we were unable to detect either of these in or , the other eleven species tested contained cross-reacting material to HF. Furthermore, in six of these eleven species we were able to detect HF activity. The detection of HF structure and function allowed the examined species to be grouped into three categories which we have called ‘sets’. The results correlate well with those of previous studies on ribosomal RNA homology (Palleroni , 1973).


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