Putative start codon TTG for the regulatory protein VirG of the hairy-root-inducing plasmid pRiA4

Aoyama Takashi, Hirayama Takashi, Tamamoto Satoshi, Oka Atsuhiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


The nucleotide sequence of the virG gene for a transcriptional activator on the agropine-type hairy-rootinducing plasmid pRiA4 was determined. The sequence contained one possible open reading frame. The gene product with a molecular size of 26.5 kDa was identified by an Escherichia coli coupled-transcription-translation system using cloned virG plasmids as templates. However, neither an ATG nor a GTG start codon which could give rise to such a protein was identified in the nucleotide sequence. Instead, TTG was found as a candidate for the start codon. This TTG was preceded, like most other TTG start codons, by both a Shine-Dalgarno (SD) sequence and a T signal which are respectively complementary to the 3'-end region of 16S rRNA and the Tψ/loop of initiator tRNA. Further evidence for the start at TTG was obtained by gene fusion experiments. When the E. coli lacZ gene, whose expression entirely depends on the transcription and translation from upstream regions, was connected in-phase with virG either directly upstream or downstream of the TTG sequence, only the latter fused gene expressed the β-galactosidase activity in Agrobacterium cells in response to a plant phenolic compound, acetosyringone. The TTG codon preceded by an SD sequence and a T signal is also conserved in the virG sequences from other three tumor-inducing plasmids previously reported.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-178
Number of pages6
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 15 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • Recombinant DNA
  • Ri and Ti plasmids
  • acetosyringone
  • agropine-type
  • plant phenolic compounds
  • plasmid evolution
  • positive regulator
  • transcriptional activator
  • transformation
  • virulence gene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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