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Gene Review

traM  -  required for normal levels of transfer...

Escherichia coli

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Disease relevance of traM

  • Hfq is a regulator of F-plasmid TraJ and TraM synthesis in Escherichia coli [1].
  • TraD15 exerted a dominant negative effect on DNA transfer but not on phage infection by pilus-specific phage R17, indicating that TraM-TraD interaction is important for conjugative DNA transfer but not for phage infection [2].

High impact information on traM

  • TraM is essential for F plasmid-mediated bacterial conjugation, where it binds to the plasmid DNA near the origin of transfer, and recognizes a component of the transmembrane DNA transfer complex, TraD [3].
  • Comparison of TraM to its Glu88 mutants predicted to stabilize the helical structure suggests that the protonated state is the active form for binding TraD in conjugation [3].
  • Transfer is dependent on the expression of the plasmid transfer (tra) genes, which are controlled by three plasmid-encoded regulatory proteins: TraJ, TraY and TraM [4].
  • Expression of the transfer genes is tightly controlled by a number of factors, including the following plasmid-encoded regulatory proteins: TraJ, the primary activator of the 33-kb tra operon, and the autoregulators TraM and TraY [1].
  • Crystals have been obtained of both native and selenomethionine-substituted TraM by the vapour-diffusion method [5].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of traM

  • DNase I protection analyses and electron microscopy were used to determine the affinity of IHF for oriT-containing DNA in the presence and absence of TraM [6].


  1. Hfq is a regulator of F-plasmid TraJ and TraM synthesis in Escherichia coli. Will, W.R., Frost, L.S. J. Bacteriol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  2. Thirty-eight C-terminal amino acids of the coupling protein TraD of the F-like conjugative resistance plasmid R1 are required and sufficient to confer binding to the substrate selector protein TraM. Beranek, A., Zettl, M., Lorenzoni, K., Schauer, A., Manhart, M., Koraimann, G. J. Bacteriol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  3. Protonation-mediated structural flexibility in the F conjugation regulatory protein, TraM. Lu, J., Edwards, R.A., Wong, J.J., Manchak, J., Scott, P.G., Frost, L.S., Glover, J.N. EMBO J. (2006) [Pubmed]
  4. The role of H-NS in silencing F transfer gene expression during entry into stationary phase. Will, W.R., Lu, J., Frost, L.S. Mol. Microbiol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  5. Crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction studies of the quorum-sensing regulator TraM from Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Vannini, A., Volpari, C., Di Marco, S. Acta Crystallogr. D Biol. Crystallogr. (2004) [Pubmed]
  6. Studies on the binding of integration host factor (IHF) and TraM to the origin of transfer of the IncFV plasmid pED208. Di Laurenzio, L., Scraba, D.G., Paranchych, W., Frost, L.S. Mol. Gen. Genet. (1995) [Pubmed]
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