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Mol Microbiol. 2002 Jul;45(2):333-49.

Molecular characterization of long direct repeat (LDR) sequences expressing a stable mRNA encoding for a 35-amino-acid cell-killing peptide and a cis-encoded small antisense RNA in Escherichia coli.

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  • 1Research and Education Center for Genetic Information, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, 8916-5 Takayama, Ikoma, Nara 630-0101, Japan.

Abstract

Genome sequence analyses of Escherichia coli K-12 revealed four copies of long repetitive elements. These sequences are designated as long direct repeat (LDR) sequences. Three of the repeats (LDR-A, -B, -C), each approximately 500 bp in length, are located as tandem repeats at 27.4 min on the genetic map. Another copy (LDR-D), 450 bp in length and nearly identical to LDR-A, -B and -C, is located at 79.7 min, a position that is directly opposite the position of LDR-A, -B and -C. In this study, we demonstrate that LDR-D encodes a 35-amino-acid peptide, LdrD, the overexpression of which causes rapid cell killing and nucleoid condensation of the host cell. Northern blot and primer extension analysis showed constitutive transcription of a stable mRNA (approximately 370 nucleotides) encoding LdrD and an unstable cis-encoded antisense RNA (approximately 60 nucleotides), which functions as a trans-acting regulator of ldrD translation. We propose that LDR encodes a toxin-antitoxin module. LDR-homologous sequences are not pre-sent on any known plasmids but are conserved in Salmonella and other enterobacterial species.

PMID:
12123448
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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