Fachbereich Veterinärmedizin



    The Molecular Switch of Telomere Phages:
    High Binding Specificity of the PY54 Cro Lytic Repressor to a Single Operator Site (2015)

    Zeitschriftenartikel / wissenschaftlicher Beitrag
    Hammerl, Jens Andre
    Roschanski, Nicole (WE 10)
    Lurz, Rudi
    Johne, Reimar
    Lanka, Erich
    Hertwig, Stefan
    Viruses; 7(6) — S. 2771–2793
    ISSN: 1999-4915
    DOI: 10.3390/v7062746
    Pubmed: 26043380
    Institut für Tier- und Umwelthygiene

    Robert-von-Ostertag-Str. 7-13
    Gebäude 35
    14169 Berlin
    +49 30 838 51845

    Abstract / Zusammenfassung

    Temperate bacteriophages possess a molecular switch, which regulates the lytic and lysogenic growth. The genomes of the temperate telomere phages N15, PY54 and ɸKO2 harbor a primary immunity region (immB) comprising genes for the prophage repressor, the lytic repressor and a putative antiterminator. The roles of these products are thought to be similar to those of the lambda proteins CI, Cro and Q, respectively. Moreover, the gene order and the location of several operator sites in the prototype telomere phage N15 and in ɸKO2 are also reminiscent of lambda-like phages. By contrast, in silico analyses revealed the presence of only one operator (O\(_{\rm{R}}\)3) in PY54. The purified PY54 Cro protein was used for EMSA studies demonstrating that it exclusively binds to a 16-bp palindromic site (O\(_{\rm{R}}\)3) upstream of the prophage repressor gene. The O\(_{\rm{R}}\)3 operator sequences of PY54 and ɸKO2/N15 only differ by their peripheral base pairs, which are responsible for Cro specificity. PY54 cI and cro transcription is regulated by highly active promoters initiating the synthesis of a homogenious species of leaderless mRNA. The location of the PY54 Cro binding site and of the identified promoters suggests that the lytic repressor suppresses cI transcription but not its own synthesis. The results indicate an unexpected diversity of the growth regulation mechanisms in lambda-related phages.