Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • Letter
  • Published:

Selective expression of transduced or cloned DNA in minicells containing plasmid pKB280


DERIVATIVES of coliphage λ, carrying inserts of essentially any prokaryotic or eukaryotic DNA, can now be constructed using novel λ cloning vectors. Often, the reason for constructing these derivatives is to determine the polypeptides encoded by the inserted DNA. Phage expression can be analysed by infection of anucleate Escherichia coli minicells in which all host syntheses are absent1. However, analysis of the expression of the non-λ DNA insert in this system is complicated by the concurrent expression of λ DNA. Attempts to inhibit the expression of the λ genes by use of minicells from a λ lysogenic minicell-producing strain were unsuccessful, indicating that insufficient λ repressor was segregated into the minicells (Shaw, Epp, Pearson and J.N.R., in preparation). Recently a plasmid, pKB280, was constructed which carries the gene (cI) for the λ repressor protein and in which approximately 1% of the soluble protein of E. coli strains carrying this plasmid is λ repressor2. Minicells produced by a derivative of E. coli DS410 carrying plasmid pKB280 have been infected by transducing and cloning phages. We report here that only the non-λ DNA is expressed in these minicells.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy this article

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Similar content being viewed by others


  1. Reeve, J. N. Molec. gen. Genet. 158, 73–79 (1977).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Backman, K. & Ptashne, M. Cell 13, 65–71 (1978).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Magazin, M., Reeve, J. N., Maynard-Smith, S. & Symonds, N. FEMS Microbiol. 4, 5–9 (1978).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Sauer, R. T. & Anderegg, R. Biochemistry 17, 1092–1110 (1978).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Backman, K., Ptashne, M. & Gilbert, W. Proc. natn. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 73, 4174–4178 (1976).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Kirschbaum, J. B. & Scaife, J. Molec. gen. Genet. 132, 193–201 (1974).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Jaskunas, S. R., Lindahl, L., Nomura, M. & Burgess, R. R. Nature 257, 458–462 (1975).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Lindhal, L., Jaskunas, S. R., Dennis, P. P., & Nomura, M. Proc. natn. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 72, 2743–2747 (1975).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  9. Watson, R., Parker, J., Fiil, N. P., Flaks, J. G. & Friesen, J. D. Proc. natn. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 72, 2765–2769 (1975).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Michaelis, G., Saedler, H., Venkov, P. & Starlinger, P. Molec. gen. Genet. 104, 372–377 (1969).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Murray, N. E., Brammar, W. J. & Murray, K. Molec. gen. Genet. 150, 53–61 (1977).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Helinski, D. R., Hershfield, V., Figurski, D. & Meyer, R. J. in Recombinant Molecules: Impact on Science and Society, 151–165 (1977).

    Google Scholar 

  13. Brown, K. D., Bennett, G. N., Lee, F., Schweingruber, M. E. & Yanofsky, C. J. molec. Biol. 121, 153–177 (1978).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. Moir, A. & Brammar, W. Molec. gen. Genet. 149, 87–99 (1976).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

REEVE, J. Selective expression of transduced or cloned DNA in minicells containing plasmid pKB280. Nature 276, 728–729 (1978).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing