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Toxins 2017, 9(3), 77;

Interaction of Type IV Toxin/Antitoxin Systems in Cryptic Prophages of Escherichia coli K-12

Key Laboratory of Tropical Marine Bio-resources and Ecology, Guangdong Key Laboratory of Marine Materia Medica, Research Network for Applied Microbiology (RNAM) Center for Marine Microbiology, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510301, China
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Shin-ichi Miyoshi
Received: 7 December 2016 / Revised: 23 February 2017 / Accepted: 24 February 2017 / Published: 1 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Bacterial Toxins)
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Toxin/antitoxin (TA) systems are widespread in prokaryotic chromosomes and in mobile genetic elements including plasmids and prophages. The first characterized Type IV TA system CbtA/CbeA was found in cryptic prophage CP4-44 in Escherichia coli K-12. Two homologous TA loci of CbtA/CbeA also reside in cryptic prophages of E. coli K-12, YkfI/YafW in CP4-6 and YpjF/YfjZ in CP4-57. In this study, we demonstrated that YkfI and YpjF inhibited cell growth and led to the formation of “lemon-shaped” cells. Prolonged overproduction of YkfI led to the formation of “gourd-shaped” cells and immediate cell lysis. YafW and YfjZ can neutralize the toxicity of YkfI or YpjF. Furthermore, we found that YkfI and YpjF interacted with cell division protein FtsZ in E. coli, but ectopic expression in Pseudomonas and Shewanella did not cause the formation of “lemon-shaped” cells. Moreover, deletion of all of the three toxin genes together decreased resistance to oxidative stress and deletion of the antitoxin genes increased early biofilm formation. Collectively, these results demonstrated that the homologous Type IV TA systems in E. coli may target cell division protein FtsZ in E. coli and may have different physiological functions in E. coli. View Full-Text
Keywords: type IV toxin/antitoxin; prophage; Escherichia coli type IV toxin/antitoxin; prophage; Escherichia coli

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Wen, Z.; Wang, P.; Sun, C.; Guo, Y.; Wang, X. Interaction of Type IV Toxin/Antitoxin Systems in Cryptic Prophages of Escherichia coli K-12. Toxins 2017, 9, 77.

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