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BMC Microbiol. 2014 Jan 28;14:16. doi: 10.1186/1471-2180-14-16.

The Escherichia coli uropathogenic-specific-protein-associated immunity protein 3 (Imu3) has nucleic acid -binding activity.

Author information

1
Department of Biology, Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia. darja.zgur.bertok@bf.uni-lj.si.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The Escherichia coli uropathogenic-specific protein (Usp) is a bacteriocin-like genotoxin, active against mammalian cells and associated with E. coli strains that provoke pyelonephritis, prostatitis and bacteraemia. Usp is encoded by a small pathogenicity island with three downstream small open reading frames (Imu1-3) that are believed to provide immunity to the producer. To prevent host suicide, colicins, bacteriocins of E. coli, form tight complexes with their cognate immunity proteins. Colicin - immunity protein complexes are among the strongest protein complexes known. Here, the Usp associated immunity protein 3 (Imu3) was partially characterized to gain insight into its role and mechanism of activity.

RESULTS:

Isolation and partial characterisation of the Usp-associated immunity protein-3 (Imu3) revealed that, while Usp and Imu3 do not form a high affinity complex, Imu3 exhibits DNA and RNA binding activity. Imu3 was also shown to protect DNA against degradation by colicin E7.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our data infer that nonspecific DNA binding of the Imu3 immunity protein, prevents suicide of E. coli producing the genotoxin Usp.

PMID:
24472116
PMCID:
PMC3917654
DOI:
10.1186/1471-2180-14-16
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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