All bactericidal antibiotics were recently proposed to kill by inducing reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, causing destabilization of iron-sulfur (Fe-S) clusters and generating Fenton chemistry. We find that the ROS response is dispensable upon treatment with bactericidal antibiotics. Furthermore, we demonstrate that Fe-S clusters are required for killing only by aminoglycosides. In contrast to cells, using the major Fe-S cluster biosynthesis machinery, ISC, cells using the alternative machinery, SUF, cannot efficiently mature respiratory complexes I and II, resulting in impendence of the proton motive force (PMF), which is required for bactericidal aminoglycoside uptake. Similarly, during iron limitation, cells become intrinsically resistant to aminoglycosides by switching from ISC to SUF and down-regulating both respiratory complexes. We conclude that Fe-S proteins promote aminoglycoside killing by enabling their uptake.
Controlling iron homeostasis is crucial for all aerobically grown living cells that are exposed to oxidative damage by reactive oxygen species (ROS), as free iron increases the production of ROS. Methionine sulfoxide reductases (Msr) are key enzymes in repairing ROS-mediated damage to proteins, as they reduce oxidized methionine (MetSO) residues to methionine. E. coli synthesizes two Msr, A and B, which exhibit substrate diastereospecificity. The bacterial iron-responsive small RNA (sRNA) RyhB controls iron metabolism by modulating intracellular iron usage. We show in this paper that RyhB is a direct regulator of the msrB gene that encodes the MsrB enzyme. RyhB down-regulates msrB transcripts along with Hfq and RNaseE proteins since mutations in the ryhB, fur, hfq, or RNaseE-encoded genes resulted in iron-insensitive expression of msrB. Our results show that RyhB binds to two sequences within the short 5UTR of msrB mRNA as identified by reverse transcriptase and RNase and lead (II) protection assays. Toeprinting analysis shows that RyhB pairing to msrB mRNA prevents efficient ribosome binding and thereby inhibits translation initiation. In vivo site directed-mutagenesis experiments in the msrB 5UTR region indicate that both RyhB-pairing sites are required to decrease msrB expression. Thus, this study suggests a novel mechanism of translational regulation where a same sRNA can basepair to two different locations within the same mRNA species. In contrast, expression of msrA is not influenced by changes in iron levels.
Temperate phages have the ability to maintain their genome in their host, a process called lysogeny. For most, passive replication of the phage genome relies on integration into the hosts chromosome and becoming a prophage. Prophages remain silent in the absence of stress and replicate passively within their host genome. However, when stressful conditions occur, a prophage excises itself and resumes the viral cycle. Integration and excision of phage genomes are mediated by regulated site-specific recombination catalyzed by tyrosine and serine recombinases. In the KplE1 prophage, site-specific recombination is mediated by the IntS integrase and the TorI recombination directionality factor (RDF). We previously described a sub-family of temperate phages that is characterized by an unusual organization of the recombination module. Consequently, the attL recombination region overlaps with the integrase promoter, and the integrase and RDF genes do not share a common activated promoter upon lytic induction as in the lambda prophage. In this study, we show that the intS gene is tightly regulated by its own product as well as by the TorI RDF protein. In silico analysis revealed that overlap of the attL region with the integrase promoter is widely encountered in prophages present in prokaryotic genomes, suggesting a general occurrence of negatively autoregulated integrase genes. The prediction that these integrase genes are negatively autoregulated was biologically assessed by studying the regulation of several integrase genes from two different Escherichia coli strains. Our results suggest that the majority of tRNA-associated integrase genes in prokaryotic genomes could be autoregulated and that this might be correlated with the recombination efficiency as in KplE1. The consequences of this unprecedented regulation for excessive recombination are discussed.
The organization of the recombination regions of the KplE1 prophage in Escherichia coli K12 differs from that observed in the lambda prophage. Indeed, the binding sites characterized for the IntS integrase, the TorI recombination directionality factor (RDF) and the integration host factor (IHF) vary in number, spacing and orientation on the attL and attR regions. In this paper, we performed site-directed mutagenesis of the recombination sites to decipher if all sites are essential for the site-specific recombination reaction and how the KplE1 intasome is assembled. We also show that TorI and IntS form oligomers that are stabilized in the presence of their target DNA. Moreover, we found that IHF is the only nucleoid associated protein (NAP) involved in KplE1 recombination, although it is dispensable. This is consistent with the presence of only one functional IHF site on attR and none on attL.
Methods that use homologous recombination to engineer the genome of C. elegans commonly use strains carrying specific insertions of the heterologous transposon Mos1. A large collection of known Mos1 insertion alleles would therefore be of general interest to the C. elegans research community. We describe here the optimization of a semi-automated methodology for the construction of a substantial collection of Mos1 insertion mutant strains. At peak production, more than 5,000 strains were generated per month. These strains were then subject to molecular analysis, and more than 13,300 Mos1 insertions characterized. In addition to targeting directly more than 4,700 genes, these alleles represent the potential starting point for the engineered deletion of essentially all C. elegans genes and the modification of more than 40% of them. This collection of mutants, generated under the auspices of the European NEMAGENETAG consortium, is publicly available and represents an important research resource.
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