Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
BMC Microbiol. 2013 Oct 31;13:240. doi: 10.1186/1471-2180-13-240.

MazF6 toxin of Mycobacterium tuberculosis demonstrates antitoxin specificity and is coupled to regulation of cell growth by a Soj-like protein.

Author information

  • 1Mycobacteria Research Laboratories, Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA.



Molecular programs employed by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) for the establishment of non-replicating persistence (NRP) are poorly understood. In order to investigate mechanisms regulating entry into NRP, we asked how cell cycle regulation is linked to downstream adaptations that ultimately result in NRP. Based on previous reports and our recent studies, we reason that, in order to establish NRP, cells are halted in the cell cycle at the point of septum formation by coupled regulatory mechanisms.


Using bioinformatic consensus modeling, we identified an alternative cell cycle regulatory element, Soj(Mtb) encoded by rv1708. Soj(Mtb) coordinates a regulatory mechanism involving cell cycle control at the point of septum formation and elicits the induction of the MazF6 toxin. MazF6 functions as an mRNA interferase leading to bacteriostasis that can be prevented by interaction with its cognate antitoxin, MazE6. Further, MazEF6 acts independently of other Maz family toxin:antitoxin pairs. Notably, soj(Mtb) and mazEF6 transcripts where identified at 20, 40 and 100 days post-infection in increasing abundance indicating a role in adaption during chronic infection.


Here we present the first evidence of a coupled regulatory system in which cell cycle regulation via Soj(Mtb) is linked to downstream adaptations that are facilitated through the activity of the MazEF6 TA pair.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for BioMed Central Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center