Suppression of ColE1 high-copy-number mutants by mutations in the polA gene of Escherichia coli.J Bacteriol. 1993 Jan; 175(2):428-37.JB
We isolated three Escherichia coli suppressor strains that reduce the copy number of a mutant ColE1 high-copy-number plasmid. These mutations lower the copy number of the mutant plasmid in vivo up to 15-fold; the wild-type plasmid copy number is reduced by two- to threefold. The suppressor strains do not affect the copy numbers of non-ColE1-type plasmids tested, suggesting that their effects are specific for ColE1-type plasmids. Two of the suppressor strains show ColE1 allele-specific suppression; i.e., certain plasmid copy number mutations are suppressed more efficiently than others, suggesting specificity in the interaction between the suppressor gene product and plasmid replication component(s). All of the mutations were genetically mapped to the chromosomal polA gene, which encodes DNA polymerase I. The suppressor mutational changes were identified by DNA sequencing and found to alter single nucleotides in the region encoding the Klenow fragment of DNA polymerase I. Two mutations map in the DNA-binding cleft of the polymerase region and are suggested to affect specific interactions of the enzyme with the replication primer RNA encoded by the plasmid. The third suppressor alters a residue in the 3'-5' exonuclease domain of the enzyme. Implications for the interaction of DNA polymerase I with the ColE1 primer RNA are discussed.