PMID: 824459Oct 1, 1976

Restriction and modification in Bacillus subtilis: inducibility of a DNA methylating activity in nonmodifying cells

Journal of Virology
U GünthertT A Trautner


The nonrestricting/nonmodifying strain Bacillus subtilis 222 (r-m-) can be induced to synthesize a DNA-modifying activity upon treatment with either mitomycin C (MC) or UV light. This is shown by the following facts. (i) Infection of MC-pretreated 222 cells with unmodified SPP1 phage yields about 3% modified phage that are resistant to restriction in B. subtilis R (r+m+). The induced modifying activity causes the production of a small fraction of fully modified phage in a minority class of MC-treated host cells. (ii) The MC-pretreated host cells contain a DNA cytosine methylating activity: both bacterial and phage DNAs have elevated levels of 5-methylcytosine. (iii) The MC-induced methylation of SPP1 DNA takes place at the recognition nucleotide sequences of restriction endonuclease R from B. subtilis R. (iv) Crude extracts of MC-pretreated 222 cells have enhanced DNA methyltransferase activities, with a substrate specificity similar to that found in modification enzymes present in (constitutively) modifying strains.

Related Concepts

Natto Bacteria
Cell-Free System
DNA (Cytosine-5-)-Methyltransferase
DNA Restriction Enzymes
DNA, Bacterial
DNA, Viral
Enzyme Induction

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