Chapter 7 : Lambdoid Phages and Shiga Toxin

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This chapter summarizes what is known about -encoding phages, it is not all-inclusive. Researchers begin with a brief discussion of Shiga toxin-producing (STEC), present general information on lambdoid phages, and finally segue into a discussion of the main subject, -encoding phages. Shiga toxins are members of a family of bacterial toxins known as AB toxins, which are composed of one A subunit associated with five B subunits. In vitro studies suggest that, once it is in the lumen, Stx prevents the apoptosis of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) and induces superoxide production by these cells, which can lead to increased endothelial damage. The excised phage genome enters the lytic cycle and is ready to be transcribed and replicated, leading to the packaging of progeny DNA into phage particles that are ultimately released by phage-directed lysis of the bacterial host. The induced fraction can be greatly increased if lysogens are treated with DNA-damaging agents that activate the expression of the SOS system. Specifically, the bacterial RecA protein activated by bound single-stranded DNA binds and facilitates autocleavage of the phage repressor, causing prophage induction. Clinically, the antibiotic treatment of STEC infections has been correlated with a significantly higher incidence of secondary sequelae such as HUS. The authors focus their discussion on the -encoding phages that have been best characterized biologically: H-19B and 933W.

Citation: Tyler J, Livny J, Freidman D. 2005. Lambdoid Phages and Shiga Toxin, p 131-164. In Waldor M, Friedman D, Adhya S (ed), Phages. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816506.ch7

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Type III Secretion System
Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism
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Image of FIGURE 1

Composite genetic map of lambdoid phages showing the regulatory region and associated genes, including (see the text for details; not drawn to scale). ORFs identified by sequence analyses are shown as block arrows. Genes identified in only some Stx-encoding phages, including and the tRNA genes, are shown as block arrows with a dotted line border. Arrows are oriented in the direction of transcription of the indicated gene, based primarily on transcription studies with λ and with other phages where appropriate. Promoters are represented as line arrows, and transcription terminators are represented as lollipop structures. Transcription patterns during lysogeny (A) and during prophage induction leading to lytic growth and following the action of the N and Q antitermination proteins (B) are shown by lines below the genome maps. The mRNA NUT sequences are included as gray squares. The curved arrow spanning the I region indicates the interaction between repressor proteins bound at and that further stabilizes repression. Transcription initiating at , which has been observed for phages encoding Stx1 under both prophage-repressing and -inducing conditions, is indicated as a dotted line. For simplicity, the genes encoding the recombination proteins Exo, Bet, and Gam are included in the drawing as a single ORF designated “*.” In addition to repressing I transcription, Cro binding at and later during lytic growth turns down transcription from and ( ).

Citation: Tyler J, Livny J, Freidman D. 2005. Lambdoid Phages and Shiga Toxin, p 131-164. In Waldor M, Friedman D, Adhya S (ed), Phages. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816506.ch7
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Image of FIGURE 2

(Left) Comparison of the operator regions of λ, H-19B, and 933W depicting relative positions and spacing of the repressor binding repeats (not drawn to scale). (Right) Consensus sequences of operator repeats for each of the phages.

Citation: Tyler J, Livny J, Freidman D. 2005. Lambdoid Phages and Shiga Toxin, p 131-164. In Waldor M, Friedman D, Adhya S (ed), Phages. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816506.ch7
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Image of FIGURE 3

SIVET action. (A) Altered prophage carrying . (B) The induced prophage expresses TnpR. (C) Insert of cassette at a distal site on the bacterial chromosome. A single nucleotide change in each site (resulting in ) was required to allow expression of a functional gene product from the reconstituted gene. (D) Action of TnpR removes the cassette from within the gene, leaving a functional gene. The DNA circle with the gene does not replicate and is lost by segregation. (E) Action of TnpR makes a scoreable and heritable change, converting the bacterium from Tet Cam to Cam Tet.

Citation: Tyler J, Livny J, Freidman D. 2005. Lambdoid Phages and Shiga Toxin, p 131-164. In Waldor M, Friedman D, Adhya S (ed), Phages. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816506.ch7
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Generic image for table

Relevant information from sequenced and partially sequenced Stx-encoding phage genomes

Data include the nature of the gene, the site of insertion in the bacterial genome (), the presence or absence of selected phage genes and, if known, their homology with a gene(s) in other lambdoid phages, and whether the phage carries putative tRNA genes.+, present and not related to a gene(s) in other known phages;−, absent;ND, not done.

This site is also used by phage HKO22 ( ).

The Stx2-encoding phage Φ297 also integrates at ( ).

ΦP27 contains and but not

Citation: Tyler J, Livny J, Freidman D. 2005. Lambdoid Phages and Shiga Toxin, p 131-164. In Waldor M, Friedman D, Adhya S (ed), Phages. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816506.ch7

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