ABSTRACT We asked whether Rex exclusion encoded by a lambda prophage confers a protective or a cell-killing phenotype. We found that the Rex system can channel lysogenic cells into an arrested growth phase that gives an overall protective ability to the host despite some associated killing.
Full-textDOI: · Available from: Roderick A Slavcev, Jan 24, 2014
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ABSTRACT: The cI-rexA-rexB operon of bacteriophage lambda confers 2 phenotypes, Imm and Rex, to lysogenic cells. Immunity to homoimmune infecting lambda phage depends upon the CI repressor. Rex exclusion of T4rII mutants requires RexA and RexB proteins. Both Imm and Rex share temperature-sensitive conditional phenotypes when expressed from cI[Ts]857 but not from cI+ lambda prophage. Plasmids were made in which cI-rexA-rexB was transcribed from a non-lambda promoter, pTet. The cI857-rexA-rexB plasmid exhibited Ts conditional Rex and CI phenotypes; the cI+-rexA-rexB plasmid did not. Polarity was observed within cI-rexA-rexB transcription at sites in cI and rexA when CI was nonfunctional. Renaturation of the Ts CI857 repressor, allowing it to regain functionality, suppressed the polar effect on downstream transcription from the site in cI. The second strong polar effect near the distal end of rexA was observed for transcription initiated from pE. The introduction of a rho Ts mutation into the host genome suppressed both polar effects, as measured by its suppression of the conditional Rex phenotype. Strong suppression of the conditional Rex[Ts] phenotype was imparted by ssrA and clpP (polar for clpX) null mutations, suggesting that RexA or RexB proteins made under conditions of polarity are subject to 10Sa RNA tagging and ClpXP degradation.Canadian Journal of Microbiology 02/2005; 51(1):37-49. DOI:10.1139/w04-115 · 1.18 Impact Factor
Article: Bacteriophage secondary infection[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Phages are credited with having been first described in what we now, officially, are commemorating as the 100(th) anniversary of their discovery. Those one-hundred years of phage history have not been lacking in excitement, controversy, and occasional convolution. One such complication is the concept of secondary infection, which can take on multiple forms with myriad consequences. The terms secondary infection and secondary adsorption, for example, can be used almost synonymously to describe virion interaction with already phage-infected bacteria, and which can result in what are described as superinfection exclusion or superinfection immunity. The phrase secondary infection also may be used equivalently to superinfection or coinfection, with each of these terms borrowed from medical microbiology, and can result in genetic exchange between phages, phage-on-phage parasitism, and various partial reductions in phage productivity that have been termed mutual exclusion, partial exclusion, or the depressor effect. Alternatively, and drawing from epidemiology, secondary infection has been used to describe phage population growth as that can occur during active phage therapy as well as upon phage contamination of industrial ferments. Here primary infections represent initial bacterial population exposure to phages while consequent phage replication can lead to additional, that is, secondary infections of what otherwise are not yet phage-infected bacteria. Here I explore the varying meanings and resultant ambiguity that has been associated with the term secondary infection. I suggest in particular that secondary infection, as distinctly different phenomena, can in multiple ways influence the success of phage-mediated biocontrol of bacteria, also known as, phage therapy.Virologica Sinica 01/2015; 30(1). DOI:10.1007/s12250-014-3547-2
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ABSTRACT: Bacteriophage exclusion is a suicide response to viral infection. In strains of Escherichia coli K-12 infected with T4 phage this process is mediated by the host-encoded Lit peptidase. Lit is activated by a unique sequence in the major head protein of the T4 phage (the Gol sequence) which then cleaves site-specifically the host translation factor EF-Tu, ultimately leading to cell death. Lit has very low sequence identity with other peptidases, with only a putative metallopeptidase motif, H(160)EXXH, giving an indication of its catalytic activity. The aim of the present study was to ascertain if Lit is a metallopeptidase, identify residues essential for Lit activity, and probe the involvement of the Gol sequence in the activation of enzymatic activity. Lit activity was inhibited by the zinc chelator 1,10-phenanthroline, consistent with the suggestion that it is a metallopeptidase. Preliminary covalent modification experiments found that Lit was susceptible to inactivation by diethyl pyrocarbonate, with about three histidines reversibly modified, one of which was found to be essential for proteolytic activity. Subsequently, 13 mutants of the Lit enzyme were constructed that included all 10 histidines as well as other residues within the metallopeptidase motif. This demonstrated that the residues within the HEXXH motif are required for Lit activity and further defined the essential catalytic core as H(160)EXXHX(67)H, with additional residues such as His169 being important but not essential for activity. Kinetic analysis of Lit activation by a synthetic Gol peptide highlighted that elevated concentrations of the peptide (>10-fold above activation K(M)) are inhibitory to Lit, with this effect also seen in partially active Lit mutants. The susceptibility of Lit to inhibition by its own activating peptide suggests that the Gol sequence may be able to bind nonproductively to the enzyme at high concentration. We discuss these data in the context of the currently understood models for Gol-mediated activation of the Lit peptidase and its mechanism of action.Biochemistry 06/2004; 43(24):7948-53. DOI:10.1021/bi0495026 · 3.19 Impact Factor