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Toxins 2017, 9(4), 140; doi:10.3390/toxins9040140

Toxins of Prokaryotic Toxin-Antitoxin Systems with Sequence-Specific Endoribonuclease Activity

School of Sciences, Indiana University Kokomo, Kokomo, IN 46902, USA
Department of Biochemistry, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08854, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Thomas Keith Wood
Received: 15 February 2017 / Revised: 9 April 2017 / Accepted: 10 April 2017 / Published: 14 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Bacterial Toxins)
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Protein translation is the most common target of toxin-antitoxin system (TA) toxins. Sequence-specific endoribonucleases digest RNA in a sequence-specific manner, thereby blocking translation. While past studies mainly focused on the digestion of mRNA, recent analysis revealed that toxins can also digest tRNA, rRNA and tmRNA. Purified toxins can digest single-stranded portions of RNA containing recognition sequences in the absence of ribosome in vitro. However, increasing evidence suggests that in vivo digestion may occur in association with ribosomes. Despite the prevalence of recognition sequences in many mRNA, preferential digestion seems to occur at specific positions within mRNA and also in certain reading frames. In this review, a variety of tools utilized to study the nuclease activities of toxins over the past 15 years will be reviewed. A recent adaptation of an RNA-seq-based technique to analyze entire sets of cellular RNA will be introduced with an emphasis on its strength in identifying novel targets and redefining recognition sequences. The differences in biochemical properties and postulated physiological roles will also be discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: toxin-antitoxin systems; sequence-specific endoribonucleases; bacterial stress response; growth arrest toxin-antitoxin systems; sequence-specific endoribonucleases; bacterial stress response; growth arrest

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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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Masuda, H.; Inouye, M. Toxins of Prokaryotic Toxin-Antitoxin Systems with Sequence-Specific Endoribonuclease Activity. Toxins 2017, 9, 140.

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