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J Gen Virol. 2015 Jul;96(Pt 7):1957-68. doi: 10.1099/vir.0.000102. Epub 2015 Feb 23.

Defects in RNA polyadenylation impair both lysogenization by and lytic development of Shiga toxin-converting bacteriophages.

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1Department of Molecular Biology, University of Gdańsk, Wita Stwosza 59, 80-308 Gdańsk, Poland.
2Laboratory of Molecular Biology (affiliated with the University of Gdańsk), Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Wita Stwosza 59, 80-308 Gdańsk, Poland.


In Escherichia coli, the major poly(A) polymerase (PAP I) is encoded by the pcnB gene. In this report, a significant impairment of lysogenization by Shiga toxin-converting (Stx) bacteriophages (Φ24B, 933W, P22, P27 and P32) is demonstrated in host cells with a mutant pcnB gene. Moreover, lytic development of these phages after both infection and prophage induction was significantly less efficient in the pcnB mutant than in the WT host. The increase in DNA accumulation of the Stx phages was lower under conditions of defective RNA polyadenylation. Although shortly after prophage induction, the levels of mRNAs of most phage-borne early genes were higher in the pcnB mutant, at subsequent phases of the lytic development, a drastically decreased abundance of certain mRNAs, including those derived from the N, O and Q genes, was observed in PAP I-deficient cells. All of these effects observed in the pcnB cells were significantly more strongly pronounced in the Stx phages than in bacteriophage λ. Abundance of mRNA derived from the pcnB gene was drastically increased shortly (20 min) after prophage induction by mitomycin C and decreased after the next 20 min, while no such changes were observed in non-lysogenic cells treated with this antibiotic. This prophage induction-dependent transient increase in pcnB transcript may explain the polyadenylation-driven regulation of phage gene expression.

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