SUMMARY: Within the framework of an international project for the sequencing of the entire genome, a 29 kb chromosome segment, which contains the operon (335°) and the gene, has been cloned and sequenced. This region (28954 bp) contains 21 complete ORFs and one partial one. The 5th, 6th and 17th genes correspond to encoding histidase, encoding the positive regulator for the operon and encoding a precursor of three major wall-associated proteins, respectively. A homology search for their products deduced from the 21 complete ORFs revealed that nine of them exhibit significant homology to known proteins such as urocanase (), a protein involved in clavulanic acid biosynthesis , amino acid permeases (lysine, histidine, and others), β-glucoside-specific phosphotransferases ( and ) and 6-phospho-β-glucosidases ( and . Based on the features of the determined sequence and the results of the homology search, as well as on genetic data and sequence of the genes reported by other groups, it is predicted that the operon may consist of the following six genes (6th-1st), the last of which is followed by a typical ρ-independent transcription terminator: encoding urocanase, encoding imidazolone-5-propionate hydrolase, encoding formiminoglutamate hydrolase and (tentatively designated as possibly encoding histidine permease. Interestingly, the direction of transcription of these genes is opposite to that of the movement of the replication fork.


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