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Toxins 2016, 8(4), 96;

Mechanisms that Determine the Differential Stability of Stx+ and Stx Lysogens

Department of Biological Sciences, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14260, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vernon Tesh
Received: 19 February 2016 / Revised: 23 March 2016 / Accepted: 25 March 2016 / Published: 31 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Collection Shiga Toxins)
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Phages 933W, BAA2326, 434, and λ are evolutionarily-related temperate lambdoid phages that infect Escherichia coli. Although these are highly-similar phages, BAA2326 and 933W naturally encode Shiga toxin 2 (Stx+), but phage 434 and λ do not (Stx). Previous reports suggest that the 933W Stx+ prophage forms less stable lysogens in E. coli than does the Stx prophages λ, P22, and 434. The higher spontaneous induction frequency of the Stx+ prophage may be correlated with both virulence and dispersion of the Stx2-encoding phage. Here, we examined the hypothesis that lysogen instability is a common feature of Stx+ prophages. We found in both the absence and presence of prophage inducers (DNA damaging agents, salts), the Stx+ prophages induce at higher frequencies than do Stx prophages. The observed instability of Stx+ prophages does not appear to be the result of any differences in phage development properties between Stx+ and Stx phages. Our results indicate that differential stability of Stx+ and Stx prophages results from both RecA-dependent and RecA-independent effects on the intracellular concentration of the respective cI repressors. View Full-Text
Keywords: Shiga toxin; bacteriophage; induction; virulence; RecA Shiga toxin; bacteriophage; induction; virulence; RecA

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Colon, M.P.; Chakraborty, D.; Pevzner, Y.; Koudelka, G.B. Mechanisms that Determine the Differential Stability of Stx+ and Stx Lysogens. Toxins 2016, 8, 96.

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