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Genes 2018, 9(4), 173; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes9040173

A Toxin-Antitoxin System VapBC15 from Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 Shows Distinct Regulatory Features

1,2,†
,
3,†
,
3
,
4
and
1,4,*
1
CAS Key Laboratory of Algal Biology, Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430072, China
2
College of Life Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
3
School of the Environment and Safety Engineering, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang 212013, China
4
Huai’an Research Center, Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Huai’an 223005, China
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 January 2018 / Revised: 13 March 2018 / Accepted: 15 March 2018 / Published: 21 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Microbial Genetics and Genomics)
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Abstract

Type II toxin–antitoxin (TA) systems play important roles in bacterial stress survival by regulating cell growth or death. They are highly abundant in cyanobacteria yet remain poorly characterized. Here, we report the identification and regulation of a putative type II TA system from Synechocystis PCC6803, VapBC15. The VapBC15 system is encoded by the chromosomal operon vapBC15. Exogenous expression of VapC15 dramatically arrested cell growth of Escherichia coli and reduced the numbers of colony-forming units (CFU). The VapC15 toxicity could be neutralized by simultaneous or delayed production of VapB15. Biochemical analysis demonstrated the formation of VapB15-VapC15 complexes by the physical interaction between VapB15 and VapC15. Notably, the VapB15 antitoxin up-regulated the transcription of the vapBC15 operon by directly binding to the promoter region, and the VapC15 toxin abolished the up-regulatory effect by destabilizing the binding. Moreover, VapB15 can be degraded by the proteases Lons and ClpXP2s from Synechocystis PCC6803, thus activating the latent toxicity of VapBC15. These findings suggest that VapBC15 represents a genuine TA system that utilizes a distinct mechanism to regulate toxin activity. View Full-Text
Keywords: cyanobacteria; Synechocystis PCC6803; type II toxin-antitoxin system; VapBC15; regulatory feature cyanobacteria; Synechocystis PCC6803; type II toxin-antitoxin system; VapBC15; regulatory feature
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Fei, Q.; Gao, E.-B.; Liu, B.; Wei, Y.; Ning, D. A Toxin-Antitoxin System VapBC15 from Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 Shows Distinct Regulatory Features. Genes 2018, 9, 173.

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