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Replication of plasmids derived from Shiga toxinconverting bacteriophages in starved Escherichia coli

Nejman, Bożena and Nadratowska-Wesołowska, Beata and Szalewska-Pałasz, Agnieszka and Węgrzyn, Alicja and Węgrzyn, Grzegorz (2011) Replication of plasmids derived from Shiga toxinconverting bacteriophages in starved Escherichia coli. Microbiology, 157 . pp. 220-233.

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The pathogenicity of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) depends on the expression of stx genes that are located on lambdoid prophages. Effective toxin production occurs only after prophage induction, and one may presume that replication of the phage genome is important for an increase in the dosage of stx genes, positively influencing their expression. We investigated the replication of plasmids derived from Shiga toxin (Stx)-converting bacteriophages in starved E. coli cells, as starvation conditions may be common in the intestine of infected humans. We found that, unlike plasmids derived from bacteriophage lambda, the Shiga toxin phage-derived replicons did not replicate in amino acid-starved relA+ and relA” cells (showing the stringent and relaxed responses to starvation, respectively). The presence of the stable fraction of the replication initiator O protein was detected in all tested replicons. However, while ppGpp, the stringent response effector, inhibited the activities of the l PR promoter and its homologues from Shiga toxin-converting bacteriophages, these promoters, except for lambda PR, were only weakly stimulated by the DksA protein. We suggest that this less efficient (relative to lambda) positive regulation of transcription responsible for transcriptional activation of the origin contributes to the inhibition of DNA replication initiation of Shiga toxin-converting bacteriophages in starved host cells, even in the absence of ppGpp (as in starved relA” hosts). Possible clinical implications of these results are discussed.

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Q Science > QR Microbiology > QR355 Virology
Divisions:Laboratory of Molecular Biology (in Gdansk)
ID Code:257
Deposited By: Prof. Magdalena Gabig-Cimińska
Deposited On:03 Jan 2013 08:49
Last Modified:14 Oct 2014 08:28

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