Summary: The distributions of penicillinase in populations of uninduced, induced and constitutive cultures of strains 749 and 749/c each showed a large positive skew. Analysis of the enzyme distribution in the uninduced population as a Poisson distribution showed that penicillinase molecules were produced not as independent random events, but in clusters containing 1100 molecules. There were 0.4 (average 0.85) clusters/organism. The fundamental random event resulting in the formation of a cluster of penicillinase molecules may be the formation of one enzyme-forming site capable of producing 1100 such molecules. Analysis of the enzyme distribution in the constitutive population showed that in this case penicillinase was produced in groups of 55,000 molecules, or fifty of the clusters of penicillinase found in the organisms of the uninduced population. This may be the number of enzyme-forming sites made by a constitutive penicillinase gene during the period between its formation and replication. Analysis of the enzyme distribution in the induced population showed that the organisms did not respond equally after induction, but all organisms probably increased their rates of penicillinase synthesis. Enzyme partition can be highly asymmetric when an organism divides; the enzyme molecules do not appear to be able to diffuse freely within the cell cytoplasm, but may be associated with some structurally rigid material in the organisms.


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