In -lysine is synthesized simultaneously via the succinylase and dehydrogenase variant of the diaminopimelate pathway. Starting from a strain with a disrupted dehydrogenase gene, three different-sized DNA fragments were isolated which complemented defective mutants in the succinylase pathway. Enzyme studies revealed that in one case the dehydrogenase gene had apparently been reconstituted in the heterologous host. The two other fragments resulted in desuccinylase activity; one of them additionally in succinylase activity. However, the physical analysis showed that structural changes had taken place in all fragments. Using a probe derived from one of the fragments we isolated a 3.4 kb Hl DNA fragment without selective pressure (by colony hybridization). This was structurally intact and proved functionally to result in tenfold desuccinylase overexpression. The nucleotide sequence of a 1966 bp fragment revealed the presence of one truncated open reading frame of unknown function and that of encoding -succinyl diaminopimelate desuccinylase (EC The deduced amino acid sequence of the gene product shares 23% identical residues with that from The gene now available is the first gene from the succinylase branch of lysine synthesis of this biotechnologically important organism.


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