The tuf3 gene of Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2) encodes an inessential elongation factor Tu that is apparently subject to positive stringent control

Gilles P. van Wezel, Eriko Takano, Erik Vijgenboom, Leendert Bosch, Mervyn J. Bibb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic

16 Citations (Scopus)
278 Downloads (Pure)


In Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2), two genes, tuf1 and tuf3, encode the apparent polypeptide chain elongation factors EF-Tu1 and EF-Tu3, respectively. While tuf1 appears to code for the major EF-Tu, the function of tuf3 is unknown. To assess the role of EF-Tu3, tuf3 was subjected to mutational and transcriptional analyses. Replacement of the 5’-half of tuf3 by an antibiotic resistance cassette had no detectable effect on phenotype, indicating that tuf3 is not essential for growth or differentiation. The transcription start site of tuf3 was located approximately 195 nt upstream of the translation start site. The sequence of the tuf3 promoter (Ptuf3) resembles the consensus for the major class of eubacterial promoters, and Ptuf3 was recognized preferentially by an RNA polymerase fraction enriched in σhrdB, the principal σ factor of S. coelicolor. Nuclease S1 mapping failed to reveal tuf3 transcripts during growth of S. coelicolor in liquid culture, consistent with the apparent absence of EF-Tu3 in total protein extracts of the same strain. However, tuf3 transcription was observed in cultures of S. coelicolor M145 shortly after nutritional shiftdown (which resulted in the disappearance of tuf1 transcripts) and after addition of serine hydroxamate, both of which induce the stringent response. Transcription of tuf3 was also observed in transition-phase and stationary-phase cultures of S. coelicolor J1681, a strain deleted for bldA (which specifies a tRNALeu for the rare leucine codon UUA). In all of these examples, transcription of tuf3 followed the production of ppGpp, consistent with the hypothesis that tuf3 is subject to positive stringent control.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • ppGpp
  • stringent control
  • Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2)
  • tuf3
  • elongation factor Tu

Cite this