Note to users. If you're seeing this message, it means that your browser cannot find this page's style/presentation instructions -- or possibly that you are using a browser that does not support current Web standards. Find out more about why this message is appearing, and what you can do to make your experience of our site the best it can be.

Subscribe

Sci. STKE, 30 October 2007
Vol. 2007, Issue 410, p. tw395
[DOI: 10.1126/stke.4102007tw395]

EDITORS' CHOICE

Microbiology Extracellular Death Factor

Caroline Ash

Science, AAAS, Cambridge CB2 1LQ, UK

Programmed cell death (PCD) has traditionally been considered to be restricted to eukaryotic multicellular organisms; however, several genetic modules in prokaryotes are known to mediate a type of programmed cell death. In Escherichia coli, mazF encodes a stable toxin, and mazE encodes a labile antitoxin, that prevents the lethal effect of MazF. Kolodkin-Gal et al. (see the Perspective by Kolter) now show that E. coli mazEF-mediated cell death is a population phenomenon that requires a quorum-sensing signal molecule, extracellular death factor (EDF). EDF is a symmetric, linear pentapeptide whose amino acid sequence is Asn-Asn-Trp-Asn-Asn. In synthetic peptides, the symmetrical arrangement of each of the five amino acids of EDF was important for mazEF-mediated killing activity.

I. Kolodkin-Gal, R. Hazan, A. Gaathon, S. Carmeli, H. Engelberg-Kulka, A linear pentapeptide is a quorum-sensing factor required for mazEF-mediated cell death in Escherichia coli. Science 318, 652-655 (2007). [Abstract] [Full Text]

R. Kolter, Deadly priming. Science 318, 578-579 (2007). [Summary] [Full Text]

Citation: C. Ash, Extracellular Death Factor. Sci. STKE 2007, tw395 (2007).


To Advertise     Find Products


Science Signaling. ISSN 1937-9145 (online), 1945-0877 (print). Pre-2008: Science's STKE. ISSN 1525-8882