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J Bacteriol. 2012 Apr;194(8):1950-9. doi: 10.1128/JB.05885-11. Epub 2012 Feb 17.

Novel colicin Fy of Yersinia frederiksenii inhibits pathogenic Yersinia strains via YiuR-mediated reception, TonB import, and cell membrane pore formation.

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Department of Biology, Faculty of Medicine, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic.


A novel colicin type, designated colicin Fy, was found to be encoded and produced by the strain Yersinia frederiksenii Y27601. Colicin Fy was active against both pathogenic and nonpathogenic strains of the genus Yersinia. Plasmid YF27601 (5,574 bp) of Y. frederiksenii Y27601 was completely sequenced. The colicin Fy activity gene (cfyA) and the colicin Fy immunity gene (cfyI) were identified. The deduced amino acid sequence of colicin Fy was very similar in its C-terminal pore-forming domain to colicin Ib (69% identity in the last 178 amino acid residues), indicating pore forming as its lethal mode of action. Transposon mutagenesis of the colicin Fy-susceptible strain Yersinia kristensenii Y276 revealed the yiuR gene (ykris001_4440), which encodes the YiuR outer membrane protein with unknown function, as the colicin Fy receptor molecule. Introduction of the yiuR gene into the colicin Fy-resistant strain Y. kristensenii Y104 restored its susceptibility to colicin Fy. In contrast, the colicin Fy-resistant strain Escherichia coli TOP10F' acquired susceptibility to colicin Fy only when both the yiuR and tonB genes from Y. kristensenii Y276 were introduced. Similarities between colicins Fy and Ib, similarities between the Cir and YiuR receptors, and the detected partial cross-immunity of colicin Fy and colicin Ib producers suggest a common evolutionary origin of the colicin Fy-YiuR and colicin Ib-Cir systems.

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