Novel Escherichia coli RNA Polymerase Binding Protein Encoded by Bacteriophage T5

Evgeny Klimuk, Vladimir Mekler, Darya Lavysh, Marina Serebryakova, Natalia Akulenko, Konstantin Severinov

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    The Escherichia coli bacteriophage T5 has three temporal classes of genes (pre-early, early, and late). All three classes are transcribed by host RNA polymerase (RNAP) containing the σ70 promoter specificity subunit. Molecular mechanisms responsible for the switching of viral transcription from one class to another remain unknown. Here, we find the product of T5 gene 026 (gpT5.026) in RNAP preparations purified from T5-infected cells and demonstrate in vitro its tight binding to E. coli RNAP. While proteins homologous to gpT5.026 are encoded by all T5-related phages, no similarities to proteins with known functions can be detected. GpT5.026 binds to two regions of the RNAP β subunit and moderately inhibits RNAP interaction with the discriminator region of σ70-dependent promoters. A T5 mutant with disrupted gene 026 is viable, but the host cell lysis phase is prolongated and fewer virus particles are produced. During the mutant phage infection, the number of early transcripts increases, whereas the number of late transcripts decreases. We propose that gpT5.026 is part of the regulatory cascade that orchestrates a switch from early to late bacteriophage T5 transcription.

    Original languageEnglish
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 26 Jul 2020


    • bacteriophage T5
    • promoter
    • RNA polymerase
    • transcription regulation


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