mazEF: A chromosomal toxin-antitoxin module that triggers programmed cell death in bacteria

Hanna Engelberg-Kulka*, Ronen Hazan, Shahar Amitai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

147 Scopus citations

Abstract

mazEF is a toxin-antitoxin module located on the Escherichia coli chromosome and that of some other bacteria, including pathogens. mazF specifies for a stable toxin, MazF, and mazE specifies for a labile antitoxin, MazE, that antagonizes MazF. MazF is a sequence-specific mRNA endoribonuclease that initiates a programmed cell death pathway in response to various stresses. The mazEF-mediated death pathway can act as a defense mechanism that prevents the spread of bacterial phage infection, allowing bacterial populations to behave like multicellular organisms.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)4327-4332
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cell Science
Volume118
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2005

Keywords

  • Bacterial toxin-antitoxins
  • Programmed cell death
  • Stressful conditions

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