RNA Antitoxins (2007)

Author(s): Gerdes K, Wagner EG

    Abstract: 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).

      • Date: 28-03-2007
      • Journal: Current Opinion in Microbiology
      • Volume: 10
      • Issue: 2
      • Pages: 117-124
      • Publisher: Elsevier Ltd.
      • Publication type: Article
      • Bibliographic status: Published

      Professor Kenn Gerdes
      Professor of Bacterial Cell Biology