Identification of the Plasmid and the Structural Gene of Colicin Type 7 of Shigella Sonnei


Shigella sonnei colicin 7 (Scol7) is a unique bacteriocin acting only on certain dysentery-causing bacteria, like enteroinvasive Escherichia coli, S. sonnei or S. boydii. We identified a 4.2 Md plasmid (pScol7) conferring Scol7 production to the transformants. The entire plasmid was sequenced (Gene Bank Accession number AJ318075) and the structure gene of Scol7 production (sc7a) was identified. Analyzing the sequence of the plasmid revealed extensive homology to other colicin plasmids, particularly to pColE1 but only in areas not related to the bacteriocin activity gene. The similarity of the putative promoter for sc7a to the respective sequences of other colicins suggested that the production of Scol7 is under SOS regulation. Indeed, its production could be increased eightfold by mitomycin C treatment. The molecular mass of the translated polypeptide as deduced from the nucleotide sequence of sc7a (i.e. 11.2 kDa) is in good agreement with previous estimations for its subunit, but molecular filtration experiments suggest a multimeric structure of at least 50 kDa. While current data are not sufficient to predict the mode of action of Scol7, the presence of a DTLSN pentapeptide motive suggests that it could be imported to sensitive cells via the TonB transport system.


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Tigyi, Z., Kispál, G. & Pál, T. Identification of the Plasmid and the Structural Gene of Colicin Type 7 of Shigella Sonnei. BIOLOGIA FUTURA 56, 359–373 (2005).

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  • Colicin
  • bacteriocin
  • dysentery
  • Shigella
  • plasmid