Natural tuning of restriction endonuclease synthesis by cluster of rare arginine codons

Iwona Mruk , Tadeusz Kaczorowski , Agata Witczak


Restriction-modification (R-M) systems are highly widespread among bacteria and archaea, and they appear to play a pivotal role in modulating horizontal gene transfer, as well as in protecting the host organism against viruses and other invasive DNA particles. Type II R-M systems specify two independent enzymes: a restriction endonuclease (REase) and protective DNA methyltransferase (MTase). If the cell is to survive, the counteracting activities as toxin and antitoxin, must be finely balanced in vivo. The molecular basis of this regulatory process remains unclear and current searches for regulatory elements in R-M modules are focused mainly at the transcription step. In this report, we show new aspects of REase control that are linked to translation. We used the EcoVIII R-M system as a model. Both, the REase and MTase genes for this R-M system contain an unusually high number of rare arginine codons (AGA and AGG) when compared to the rest of the E. coli K-12 genome. Clusters of these codons near the N-terminus of the REase greatly affect the translational efficiency. Changing these to higher frequency codons for E. coli (CGC) improves the REase synthesis, making the R-M system more potent to defend its host against bacteriophages. However, this improved efficiency in synthesis reduces host fitness due to increased autorestriction. We hypothesize that expression of the endonuclease gene can be modulated depending on the host genetic context and we propose a novel post-transcriptional mode of R-M system regulation that alleviates the potential lethal action of the restriction enzyme.
Author Iwona Mruk (FB / DM)
Iwona Mruk,,
- Department of Microbiology
, Tadeusz Kaczorowski (FB / DM)
Tadeusz Kaczorowski,,
- Department of Microbiology
, Agata Witczak (FB / DM)
Agata Witczak,,
- Department of Microbiology
Journal seriesScientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, (N/A 100 pkt)
Issue year2019
Publication size in sheets0.6
ASJC Classification1000 Multidisciplinary
Languageen angielski
LicenseJournal (articles only); published final; Uznanie Autorstwa (CC-BY); with publication
Score (nominal)100
Score sourcejournalList
ScoreMinisterial score = 100.0, 14-01-2020, ArticleFromJournal
Publication indicators WoS Citations = 1; Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2016 = 1.401; WoS Impact Factor: 2018 = 4.011 (2) - 2018=4.525 (5)
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* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.
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