Sequence of the tuf A gene from Thermus aquaticus.
The sequence of the tufA gene from the extreme thermophilic eubacterium Thermus aquaticus
EP 00276 was determined. The GC content in third positions of codons is 89.5%, with an unusual
predominance of guanosine (60.7%). The derived protein sequence differs from tufA- and tufBencoded sequences for elongation factor Tu (EF-Tu) of Thermus thermophilus H B8, another member of the genus Thermus, in 10 of the 405 amino acid residues. Three exchanges are located in the additional loop of ten amino acids (182- 191). The loop, probably involved in nucleotide binding, is absent in EF-Tu of the mesophile Escherichia coli. Since EF-Tu from E. coli is quite unstable, the protein is well-suited for analyzing molecular changes that lead to thermostabilization. Comparison of the EF-Tu domain I from E. coli and Thermus strains revealed clustered amino acid exchanges in the C-terminal part of the first helix and in adjacent residues of the second loop inferred to interact with the ribosome. Most other exchanges in the guanine nucleotide binding domain are located in loops or nearest vicinity of loops suggesting their importance for thermostability. The T. aquaticus EF-Tu was overproduced in E. coli using the tac expression system. Identity of the recombinant T. aquaticus EF-Tu was verified by Western blot analysis, N-terminal sequencing and GDP binding assays.