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EcoSal Plus. 2019 Jan;8(2). doi: 10.1128/ecosalplus.ESP-0030-2018.

Similarities and Differences between Colicin and Filamentous Phage Uptake by Bacterial Cells.

Author information

1
Laboratoire d'Ingénierie des Systèmes Macromoléculaires, UMR7255, Institut de Microbiologie de la Méditerranée, Aix-Marseille Université-CNRS, 13402 Marseille, France.
2
Laboratoire d'Ingénierie des Systèmes Macromoléculaires, UMR7255, Institut de Microbiologie de la Méditerranée, Aix-Marseille Université- CNRS, 13402 Marseille, France.

Abstract

Gram-negative bacteria have evolved a complex envelope to adapt and survive in a broad range of ecological niches. This physical barrier is the first line of defense against noxious compounds and viral particles called bacteriophages. Colicins are a family of bactericidal proteins produced by and toxic to Escherichia coli and closely related bacteria. Filamentous phages have a complex structure, composed of at least five capsid proteins assembled in a long thread-shaped particle, that protects the viral DNA. Despite their difference in size and complexity, group A colicins and filamentous phages both parasitize multiprotein complexes of their sensitive host for entry. They first bind to a receptor located at the surface of the target bacteria before specifically recruiting components of the Tol system to cross the outer membrane and find their way through the periplasm. The Tol system is thought to use the proton motive force of the inner membrane to maintain outer membrane integrity during the life cycle of the cell. This review describes the sequential docking mechanisms of group A colicins and filamentous phages during their uptake by their bacterial host, with a specific focus on the translocation step, promoted by interactions with the Tol system.

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