Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

An operon for histidine biosynthesis in Streptomyces coelicolor

II. Biochemical evidence


In order to demonstrate that a cluster of five his genes (eight cistrons) on the circular chromosome of S. coelicolor is an operon, a constitutive mutant was characterized biochemically, and some aspects of enzyme repression were studied.

The specific activities of three enzymes, two of which coded by genes of the his cluster and one specified by a his gene located far from the his cluster, were tested under different repression and derepression conditions and at various times of grwoth in a constitutive his mutant, in two leaky his mutants and in the wild type strains of S. coelicolor.

The results of such investigations demonstrate that the constitutive mutant is derepressed exclusively for the synthesis of enzymes coded by genes of the his cluster; moreover only the synthesis of such enzymes takes place in a strictly coordinate way, suggesting that the his cluster behaves as a single unit of expression and regulation.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Ahmed, A.: Organization of the histidine-3 region of Neurospora. Molec. gen. Genet. 103 185–193 (1968).

  2. Ames, B. N., Garry, B.: Coordinate repression of the synthesis of four histidine biosynthetic enzymes by histidine. Proc. nat. Acad. Sci. (Wash.) 45, 1453–1461 (1959).

  3. Ames, B. N., Goldberger, R. F., Hartman, P. E., Martin, R. G., Roth, R. J.: The histidine operon. In: Regulation of nucleic acid and protein biosynthesis. (V. V. Koningsberger and L. Bosh, eds.), p. 272–287. Amsterdam: Elsevier Publishing Co. 1967.

  4. Beckwith, J. R., Pardee, A. B., Austrian, R., Jacob, F. Coordination of the synthesis of the enzymes in the pyrimidine pathway of E. coli. J. molec. Biol. 5, 618–634 (1962).

  5. Berlyn, M. B.: Gene-enzyme relationships in histidine biosynthesis in Aspergillus nidulans. Genetics 57, 561–570 (1967).

  6. Carere, A., Russi, S.: Some aspects of enzyme regulation in histidine biosynthesis in Streptomyces coelicolor. G. Botan. Ital. 104, 349–356 (1970).

  7. Fink, G. R.: A cluster of genes controlling three enzymes in histidine biosynthesis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Genetics 53, 445–459 (1966).

  8. Hopwood, D. A.: Genetic analysis and genome structure in Streptomyces coelicolor. Bact. Rev. 31, 373–403 (1967).

  9. Hopwood, D. A., Sermonti, G.: Genetics of Streptomyces coelicolor. Advanc. Genet. 11, 273–342 (1962).

  10. Jacob, F., Monod, J.: Genetic regulatory mechanisms in the synthesis of proteins. J. molec. Biol. 3, 318–356 (1961).

  11. Karlström, O., Gorini, L.: A unitary account of the repression mechanism of arginine biosynthesis in E. coli. II. Application to the physiological evidence. J. molec. Biol. 39, 89–94 (1969).

  12. Kloos, W. E., Pattee, P. A.: A biochemical characterization of histidine dependent mutants of Staphylococcus aureus. J. gen. Microbiol. 39, 185–194 (1965).

  13. Lowry, O. H., Rosebrough, N. J., Farr, L. A., Randall, R.: Protein measurement with the folin phenol reagent. J. biol. Chem. 193, 265–275 (1951).

  14. Piperno, R., Carere, A., Sermonti, G.: Polarized recombination in Streptomyces coelicolor. Ann. Ist. sup. Sanitá 2, 393–407 (1966).

  15. Russi, S., Carere, A., Fratello, B., Khoudokormoff, V.: Caratterizzazione biochimica di alcuni mutanti di Streptomyces coelicolor richiedenti istidina. Ann. Ist. sup. Sanitá 2, 506–522 (1966).

  16. Sermonti, G., Carere, A.: Mechanism for polarized recombination in streptomyces. Molec. gen. Genet. 103, 141–149 (1968).

  17. Singer, C. E., Smith, G. R., Cortese, R., Ames, B. N.: Mutant tRNAHis ineffective in repression and lacking two pseudouridine modifications. Nature (Lond.) New Biol. 238, 72–74 (1972).

Download references

Author information

Additional information

Communicated by G. Bertani

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Russi, S., Carere, A., Siracusano, A. et al. An operon for histidine biosynthesis in Streptomyces coelicolor . Molec. Gen. Genet. 123, 225–232 (1973).

Download citation


  • Enzyme
  • Streptomyces
  • Histidine
  • Type Strain
  • Wild Type Strain