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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Inhibition of bacterial segregation by early functions of phage mu and association of replication protein B with the inner cell membrane.

Infection of Mu-sensitive bacteria with a recombinant lambda phage that carries the EcoRI.C fragment from the immunity end of wild type Mu DNA causes filamentous growth. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that the cell-division cycle was inhibited at, or prior to, the initiation of septation. The filamentation does not occur after infection of Mu-immune bacteria or after infection with a phage carrying the same EcoRI.C fragment, but with an IS1 insertion in gene B of Mu, showing that either gpB and/or some non-essential functions (e.g. kil) mapping downstream from the insertion are required for the inhibition of cell division. These data and previously published evidence suggest that in the "killing" of E. coli K12 by early Mu functions expressed from the cloned EcoRI.C fragment, two components have to be distinguished: one, a highly efficient elimination of plasmid DNA carrying the early Mu genes, and second, a series of interactions with host functions conducent to an inhibition of cell division. It is suggested that functions normally involved in the SOS reaction participate in the inhibition of cell division by early Mu functions. Infected bacteria synthesize the replication protein B (MR 33000) of Mu, which was found by cell fractionation experiments to be associated with the inner cell membrane. The role of this association for filamentous growth and for the integrative replication of the phage is discussed. The recombinant phage might be useful as a tool for the study of the E. coli cell division cycle.[1]


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