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FEBS J. 2010 Aug;277(15):3097-117. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-4658.2010.07722.x. Epub 2010 Jun 21.

parD toxin-antitoxin system of plasmid R1--basic contributions, biotechnological applications and relationships with closely-related toxin-antitoxin systems.

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Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas (CSIC), Molecular Microbiology and Infection Biology, Madrid, Spain.


Toxin-antitoxin systems, as found in bacterial plasmids and their host chromosomes, play a role in the maintenance of genetic information, as well as in the response to stress. We describe the basic biology of the parD/kiskid toxin-antitoxin system of Escherichia coli plasmid R1, with an emphasis on regulation, toxin activity, potential applications in biotechnology and its relationships with related toxin-antitoxin systems. Special reference is given to the ccd toxin-antitoxin system of plasmid F because its toxin shares structural homology with the toxin of the parD system. Inter-relations with related toxin-antitoxin systems present in the E. coli chromosome, such as the parD homologues chpA/mazEF and chpB and the relBE system, are also reviewed. The combined structural and functional information that is now available on all these systems, as well as the ongoing controversy regarding the role of the chromosomal toxin-antitoxin loci, have made this review especially timely.

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