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Mol Microbiol. 2005 Jul;57(2):347-56.

CTXphi and Vibrio cholerae: exploring a newly recognized type of phage-host cell relationship.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA.


The genes encoding cholera toxin, one of the principal virulence factors of the diarrhoeal pathogen Vibrio cholerae, are part of the genome of CTXphi, a filamentous bacteriophage. Thus, CTXphi has played a critical role in the evolution of the pathogenicity of V. cholerae. Unlike the well-studied F pilus-specific filamentous coliphages, CTXphi integrates site-specifically into its host chromosome and forms stable lysogens. Here we focus on the CTXphi life cycle and, in particular, on recent studies of the mechanism of CTXphi integration and the factors that govern lysogeny. These and other processes illustrate the remarkable dependence of CTXphi on host-encoded factors.

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