Charged Amino-Terminal Amino Acids Affect the Lethal Capacity of Lambda Lysis Proteins S107 and S105

Mol Microbiol. 1993 May;8(3):525-33. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.1993.tb01597.x.


The lysis inhibitor protein S107 and the lysis effector protein S105 start at Met codons 1 and 3 of the Lambda S gene, respectively. The antagonistic action of both proteins precisely schedules lysis by formation of a non-specific lesion in the inner membrane through which the Lambda-encoded murein transglycosylase can pass. Here, we show that the main difference between lysis-effector and lysis-inhibitor is the degree by which an energized membrane inhibits either protein from hole formation. To dissect the structural parameters responsible for intrinsic inhibition of both proteins, charged amino acids were replaced proximal to the first putative membrane-spanning region in both S proteins. Our results show that the distribution of amino-terminal charged amino acids as well as the total amino-terminal net charge of S107 and S105 influence their lethal potential. The data are interpreted in terms of a model in which the electrostatic status of the amino-terminus of both S107 and S105 is an important feature affecting their conformational change required for formation of the S-dependent hole.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Bacteriolysis
  • Bacteriophage lambda / genetics*
  • Bacteriophage lambda / metabolism
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Membrane / physiology*
  • Cell Membrane / ultrastructure
  • Escherichia coli / physiology*
  • Escherichia coli / ultrastructure
  • Membrane Potentials
  • Models, Biological
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / metabolism
  • Viral Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Viral Proteins / chemistry
  • Viral Proteins / genetics*
  • Viral Proteins / metabolism*


  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Viral Proteins
  • bacteriophage lambda lysis effector protein S105
  • bacteriophage lambda lysis inhibitor protein S107