Xenogeneic Regulation of the Bacterial Transcription Machinery

Aline Tabib-Salazar, Nancy Mulvenna, Konstantin Severinov, Steve J. Matthews, Sivaramesh Wigneshweraraj

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The parasitic life cycle of viruses involves the obligatory subversion of the host's macromolecular processes for efficient viral progeny production. Viruses that infect bacteria, bacteriophages (phages), are no exception and have evolved sophisticated ways to control essential biosynthetic machineries of their bacterial prey to benefit phage development. The xenogeneic regulation of bacterial cell function is a poorly understood area of bacteriology. The activity of the bacterial transcription machinery, the RNA polymerase (RNAP), is often regulated by a variety of mechanisms involving small phage-encoded proteins. In this review, we provide a brief overview of known phage proteins that interact with the bacterial RNAP and compare how two prototypical phages of Escherichia coli, T4 and T7, use small proteins to “puppeteer” the bacterial RNAP to ensure a successful infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4078-4092
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of molecular biology
Issue number20
StatePublished - Sep 20 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology


  • Escherichia coli
  • RNA polymerase
  • T4 phage
  • T7 phage
  • bacteriophage


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