Overexpression of escherichia coli udk mimics the absence of T7 Gp2 function and thereby abrogates successful infection by T7 phage

Andrey Shadrin, Carol Sheppard, Dhruti Savalia, Konstantin Severinov, Sivaramesh Wigneshweraraj

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Successful infection of Escherichia coli by bacteriophage T7 relies upon the transcription of the T7 genome by two different RNA polymerases (RNAps). The bacterial RNAp transcribes early T7 promoters, whereas middle and late T7 genes are transcribed by the T7 RNAp. Gp2, a T7- encoded transcription factor, is a 7 kDa product of an essential middle T7 gene 2, and is a potent inhibitor of the host RNAp. The essential biological role of Gp2 is to inhibit transcription of early T7 genes that fail to terminate efficiently in order to facilitate the coordinated usage of the T7 genome by both host and phage RNAps. Overexpression of the E. coli udk gene, which encodes a uridine/ cytidine kinase, interferes with T7 infection. We demonstrate that overexpression of udk antagonizes Gp2 function in E. coli in the absence of T7 infection and thus independently of T7- encoded factors. It seems that overexpression of udk reduces Gp2 stability and functionality during T7 infection, which consequently results in inadequate inhibition of host RNAp and in the accumulation of early T7 transcripts. In other words, overexpression of udk mimics the absence of Gp2 during T7 infection. Our study suggests that the transcriptional regulation of the T7 genome is surprisingly complex and might potentially be affected at many levels by phage-and host-encoded factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-274
Number of pages6
JournalMicrobiology (United Kingdom)
Volume159
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes

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