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Title: A phage-encoded nucleoid associated protein compacts both host and phage DNA and derepresses H-NS silencing
Abstract Nucleoid Associated Proteins (NAPs) organize the bacterial chromosome within the nucleoid. The interaction of the NAP H-NS with DNA also represses specific host and xenogeneic genes. Previously, we showed that the bacteriophage T4 early protein MotB binds to DNA, co-purifies with H-NS/DNA, and improves phage fitness. Here we demonstrate using atomic force microscopy that MotB compacts the DNA with multiple MotB proteins at the center of the complex. These complexes differ from those observed with H-NS and other NAPs, but resemble those formed by the NAP-like proteins CbpA/Dps and yeast condensin. Fluorescent microscopy indicates that expression of motB in vivo, at levels like that during T4 infection, yields a significantly compacted nucleoid containing MotB and H-NS. motB overexpression dysregulates hundreds of host genes; ∼70% are within the hns regulon. In infected cells overexpressing motB, 33 T4 late genes are expressed early, and the T4 early gene repEB, involved in replication initiation, is up ∼5-fold. We postulate that MotB represents a phage-encoded NAP that aids infection in a previously unrecognized way. We speculate that MotB-induced compaction may generate more room for T4 replication/assembly and/or leads to beneficial global changes in host gene expression, including derepression of much of the hns regulon.  more » « less
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Date Published:
Journal Name:
Nucleic Acids Research
Page Range / eLocation ID:
9229 to 9245
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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