Send to

Choose Destination
Biochimie. 2002 May-Jun;84(5-6):499-510.

The pyocins of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Author information

Department of Bacteriology, Faculty of Medicine, Jean Minjoz Hospital, boulevard Fleming, 25030, Besançon, France.


Pyocins are produced by more than 90% of Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains and each strain may synthesise several pyocins. The pyocin genes are located on the P. aeruginosa chromosome and their activities are inducible by mutagenic agents such as mitomycin C. Three types of pyocins are described. (i). R-type pyocins resemble non-flexible and contractile tails of bacteriophages. They provoke a depolarisation of the cytoplasmic membrane in relation with pore formation. (ii). F-type pyocins also resemble phage tails, but with a flexible and non-contractile rod-like structure. (iii). S-type pyocins are colicin-like, protease-sensitive proteins. They are constituted of two components. The large component carries the killing activity (DNase activity for pyocins S1, S2, S3, AP41; tRNase for pyocin S4; channel-forming activity for pyocin S5). It interacts with the small component (immunity protein). The synthesis of pyocins starts when a mutagen increases the expression of the recA gene and activates the RecA protein, which cleaves the repressor PrtR, liberating the expression of the protein activator gene prtN. R and F-pyocins are derived from an ancestral gene, with similarities to the P2 phage family and the lambda phage family, respectively. The killing domains of S1, S2, AP41 pyocins show a close evolutionary relationship with E2 group colicins, S4 pyocin with colicin E5, and S5 pyocin with colicins Ia, and Ib.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center