Control of segregation of chromosomal DNA by sex factor F in Escherichia coli. Mutants of DNA gyrase subunit A suppress letD (ccdB) product growth inhibition

J Mol Biol. 1992 May 5;225(1):39-52. doi: 10.1016/0022-2836(92)91024-j.


The letA (ccdA) and letD (ccdB) genes, located just outside the sequence essential for replication of the F plasmid, apparently contribute to stable maintenance of the plasmid. The letD gene product acts to inhibit partitioning of chromosomal DNA and cell division of the host bacteria, whereas the letA gene product acts to suppress the activity of the letD gene product. To identify the target of the letD gene product, temperature-sensitive growth-defective mutants were screened from bacterial mutants that had escaped the letD product growth inhibition that occurs in hosts carrying an FletA mutant. Of nine mutants analysed, three mutants were shown, by phage P1-mediated transduction and complementation analysis, to have mutations in the gyrA gene and the other six in the groE genes. The nucleotide sequence revealed that one of the gyrA mutants has a base change from G to A at position 641 (resulting in an amino acid change from Gly to Glu at position 214) of the gyrA gene. The mutant GyrA proteins produced by these gyrA(ts) mutants were trans-dominant over wild-type GyrA protein for letD tolerance. The wild-type GyrA protein, produced in excess amounts by means of a multicopy plasmid, overcame growth inhibition of the letD gene product. These observations strongly suggest that the A subunit of DNA gyrase is the target of the LetD protein.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Bacterial Toxins / genetics
  • Bacterial Toxins / metabolism*
  • Base Sequence
  • Chromosomes, Bacterial*
  • DNA Topoisomerases, Type II / genetics
  • DNA Topoisomerases, Type II / metabolism*
  • DNA, Bacterial / metabolism*
  • Escherichia coli / enzymology
  • Escherichia coli / genetics*
  • Escherichia coli / growth & development
  • F Factor / genetics*
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Genetic Complementation Test
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phenotype
  • Restriction Mapping
  • Temperature


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Bacterial Toxins
  • CcdB protein, Plasmid F
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • DNA Topoisomerases, Type II

Associated data

  • GENBANK/X57174