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Toxins 2016, 8(7), 228; doi:10.3390/toxins8070228

Type II Toxin–Antitoxin Systems in the Unicellular Cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803

Faculty of Biology, Institute of Biology 3, Genetics and Experimental Bioinformatics, University of Freiburg, Schänzlestr. 1, D-79104 Freiburg, Germany
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Academic Editor: Anton Meinhart
Received: 20 June 2016 / Accepted: 11 July 2016 / Published: 21 July 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxin-Antitoxin System in Bacteria)
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Abstract

Bacterial toxin–antitoxin (TA) systems are genetic elements, which are encoded by plasmid as well as chromosomal loci. They mediate plasmid and genomic island maintenance through post-segregational killing mechanisms but may also have milder effects, acting as mobile stress response systems that help certain cells of a population in persisting adverse growth conditions. Very few cyanobacterial TA system have been characterized thus far. In this work, we focus on the cyanobacterium Synechocystis 6803, a widely used model organism. We expand the number of putative Type II TA systems from 36 to 69 plus seven stand-alone components. Forty-seven TA pairs are located on the chromosome and 22 are plasmid-located. Different types of toxins are associated with various antitoxins in a mix and match principle. According to protein domains and experimental data, 81% of all toxins in Synechocystis 6803 likely exhibit RNase activity, suggesting extensive potential for toxicity-related RNA degradation and toxin-mediated transcriptome remodeling. Of particular interest is the Ssr8013–Slr8014 system encoded on plasmid pSYSG, which is part of a larger defense island or the pSYSX system Slr6056–Slr6057, which is linked to a bacterial ubiquitin-like system. Consequently, Synechocystis 6803 is one of the most prolific sources of new information about these genetic elements. View Full-Text
Keywords: bacterial toxins; cyanobacteria; hydrogenase; PIN-domain; cibonuclease; RNA degradation; RNA interferase; RNA turnover; toxin–antitoxin; VapC bacterial toxins; cyanobacteria; hydrogenase; PIN-domain; cibonuclease; RNA degradation; RNA interferase; RNA turnover; toxin–antitoxin; VapC
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Kopfmann, S.; Roesch, S.K.; Hess, W.R. Type II Toxin–Antitoxin Systems in the Unicellular Cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. Toxins 2016, 8, 228.

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