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RNA antitoxins

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Kenn Gerdes


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Recent genomic analyses revealed a surprisingly large number of toxin-antitoxin loci in free-living prokaryotes. The antitoxins are proteins or antisense RNAs that counteract the toxins. Two antisense RNA-regulated toxin-antitoxin gene families, hok/sok and ldr, are unrelated sequence-wise but have strikingly similar properties at the level of gene and RNA organization. Recently, two SOS-induced toxins were found to be regulated by RNA antitoxins. One such toxin, SymE, exhibits similarity with MazE antitoxin and, surprisingly, inhibits translation. Thus, it is possible that an ancestral antitoxin gene evolved into the present toxin gene (symE) whose translation is repressed by an RNA antitoxin (SymR). © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gerdes K, Wagner EGH

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Current Opinion in Microbiology

Year: 2007

Volume: 10

Issue: 2

Pages: 117-124

ISSN (print): 1369-5274

ISSN (electronic): 1879-0364

Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


DOI: 10.1016/j.mib.2007.03.003

PubMed id: 17376733


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