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Title: Interactions between Viral Regulatory Proteins Ensure an MOI-Independent Probability of Lysogeny during Infection by Bacteriophage P1
ABSTRACT Phage P1 is a temperate phage which makes the lytic or lysogenic decision upon infecting bacteria. During the lytic cycle, progeny phages are produced and the cell lyses, and in the lysogenic cycle, P1 DNA exists as a low-copy-number plasmid and replicates autonomously. Previous studies at the bulk level showed that P1 lysogenization was independent of m ultiplicity o f i nfection (MOI; the number of phages infecting a cell), whereas lysogenization probability of the paradigmatic phage λ increases with MOI. However, the mechanism underlying the P1 behavior is unclear. In this work, using a fluorescent reporter system, we demonstrated this P1 MOI-independent lysogenic response at the single-cell level. We further observed that the activity of the major repressor of lytic functions (C1) is a determining factor for the final cell fate. Specifically, the repression activity of P1, which arises from a combination of C1, the anti-repressor Coi, and the corepressor Lxc, remains constant for different MOI, which results in the MOI-independent lysogenic response. Additionally, by increasing the distance between phages that infect a single cell, we were able to engineer a λ-like, MOI-dependent lysogenization upon P1 infection. This suggests that the large separation of coinfecting phages attenuates the effective communication between them, allowing them to make decisions independently of each other. Our work establishes a highly quantitative framework to describe P1 lysogeny establishment. This system plays an important role in disseminating antibiotic resistance by P1-like plasmids and provides an alternative to the lifestyle of phage λ. IMPORTANCE Phage P1 has been shown potentially to play an important role in disseminating antibiotic resistance among bacteria during lysogenization, as evidenced by the prevalence of P1 phage-like elements in animal and human pathogens. In contrast to phage λ, a cell fate decision-making paradigm, P1 lysogenization was shown to be independent of MOI. In this work, we built a simple genetic model to elucidate this MOI independency based on the gene-regulatory circuitry of P1. We also proposed that the effective communication between coinfecting phages contributes to the lysis-lysogeny decision-making of P1 and highlighted the significance of spatial organization in the process of cell fate determination in a single-cell environment. Finally, our work provides new insights into different strategies acquired by viruses to interact with their bacterial hosts in different scenarios for their optimal survival.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
2013762
NSF-PAR ID:
10324235
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ;  ; ;
Editor(s):
Gottesman, Susan
Date Published:
Journal Name:
mBio
Volume:
12
Issue:
5
ISSN:
2150-7511
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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