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J Bacteriol. 2006 May;188(9):3420-3.

Induction of Escherichia coli chromosomal mazEF by stressful conditions causes an irreversible loss of viability.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Biology, The Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, P.O. Box 12272, Jerusalem 91120, Israel.


mazEF is a stress-induced toxin-antitoxin module located on the chromosomes of many bacteria. Here we induced Escherichia coli chromosomal mazEF by various stressful conditions. We found an irreversible loss of viability, which is the basic characteristic of cell death. These results further support our previous conclusion that E. coli mazEF mediation of cell death is not a passive process, but an active and genetically "programmed" death response.

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