Characterization of a Streptococcus mutans Intergenic Region Containing a Small Toxic Peptide and Its cis-Encoded Antisense Small RNA AntitoxinReportar como inadecuado




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Toxin-antitoxin TA modules consist of a pair of genes that encode two components: a protein toxin and an antitoxin, which may be in the form of either a labile protein or an antisense small RNA. Here we describe, to the best of our knowledge, the first functional chromosomal type I TA system in streptococci. Our model organism is the oral pathogen Streptococcus mutans. Our results showed that the genome of S. mutans UA159 reference strain harbors a previously unannotated Fst-like toxin Fst-Sm and its cis-encoded small RNA antitoxin srSm converging towards the end of the toxin gene in IGR176, a small intergenic region of 318 nt. Fst-Sm is a small hydrophobic peptide of 32 amino acid residues with homology to the Fst toxin family. Transcripts of ∼200 nt and ∼70 nt specific to fst-Sm mRNA and srSm RNA, respectively, were detected by Northern blot analysis throughout S. mutans growth. The toxin mRNA was considerably more stable than its cognate antitoxin. The half-life of srSm RNA was determined to be ∼30 min, while fst-Sm mRNA had a half-life of ∼90 min. Both fst-Sm and srSm RNAs were transcribed across direct tandem repeats providing a region of complementarity for inhibition of toxin translation. Overproduction of Fst-Sm had a toxic effect on E. coli and S. mutans cells which can be neutralized by coexpression of srSm RNA. Deletion of fst-Sm-srSm locus or overexpression of Fst-Sm-srSm had no effect on S. mutans cell growth in liquid medium and no differences in the total biofilm biomass were noted. In contrast, mild-overproduction of Fst-Sm-srSm type I TA system decreases the levels of persister cells tolerant to bacterial cell wall synthesis inhibitors.



Autor: Stephanie Koyanagi, Céline M. Lévesque

Fuente: http://plos.srce.hr/



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