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Capacity of Extracts from Prestarved Escherichia coli to incorporate Thymidine into Deoxyribonucleic Acid



THE ability of a polyauxotroph, Escherichia coli strain 15T- (555–7), to synthesize deoxyribonucleic acid is temporarily lost following a period of incubation in a minimal salts–glucose medium containing thymine but no added amino-acids1–4. Moreover, when the starved cells are returned to a medium supplemented with amino-acid, a lag in synthesis of deoxyribonucleic acid is observed2–4. The restoration of an active deoxyribonucleic acid synthesizing system in these cells can be prevented by continued suppression of protein synthesis with chloramphenicol3 or by exposure to X-rays5. One possible mechanism considered was that the enzyme or enzymes involved in deoxyribonucleic acid synthesis are lost or destroyed during the starvation period and that chloramphenicol and X-ray exposure prevent resynthesis or reactivation of these components3–5.

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    Gros, F., and Gros, F., Exp. Cell Res., 14, 104 (1958).

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    Billen, D., Bacteriol. (in the press).

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    Billen, D., Bact. Proc. (in the press).

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    Cowie, D. B., McCarthy, B. J., and Roberts, R. B., Abstracts, Fourth Ann. Meet. Biophys. Soc., 34 (1960).

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    Billen, D., Nature, 184, 174 (1959).

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    Kornberg, A., Lehman, I. R., and Simms, E. S., Fed. Proc.. 15, 291 (1956).

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    Lehman, I. R., Bessman, M. J., Simms, E. S., and Kornberg, A., J. Biol. Chem., 233, 163 (1958).

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    Kornberg, A., Zimmerman, S. B., Kornberg, S. R., and Josse, J., Proc. U.S. Nat. Acad. Sci., 45, 772 (1959).

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    Elson, D., Biochim. Biophys. Acta, 36, 372 (1959).

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