Identification of MazF Homologue in Legionella pneumophila Which Cleaves RNA at the AACU Sequence

Mao Shaku, Jung Ho Park, Masayori Inouye, Yoshihiro Yamaguchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


MazF is a sequence-specific endoribonuclease that is widely conserved in bacteria and archaea. Here, we found an MazF homologue (MazF-lp; LPO-p0114) in Legionella pneumophila. The mazF-lp gene overlaps 14 base pairs with the upstream gene mazE-lp (MazE-lp; LPO-p0115). The induction of mazF-lp caused cell growth arrest, while mazE-lp co-induction recovered cell growth in Escherichia coli. In vivo and in vitro primer extension experiments showed that MazF-lp is a sequence-specific endoribonuclease cleaving RNA at AACU. The endoribonuclease activity of purified MazF-lp was inhibited by purified MazE-lp. We found that MazE-lp and the MazEF-lp complex specifically bind to the palindromic sequence present in the 5′-untranslated region of the mazEF-lp operon. MazE-lp and MazEF-lp both likely function as a repressor for the mazEF-lp operon and for other genes, including icmR, whose gene product functions as a secretion chaperone for the IcmQ pore-forming protein, by specifically binding to the palindromic sequence in 5′-UTR of these genes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-280
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of molecular microbiology and biotechnology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Microbiology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology


  • MazF
  • Toxin
  • Toxin-antitoxin system


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