T7 phage factor required for managing RpoS in Escherichia coli

Aline Tabib-Salazar, Bing Liu, Declan Barker, Lynn Burchell, Udi Qimron, Steve J. Matthews*, Sivaramesh Wigneshweraraj

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


T7 development in Escherichia coli requires the inhibition of the housekeeping form of the bacterial RNA polymerase (RNAP), Eσ70, by two T7 proteins: Gp2 and Gp5.7. Although the biological role of Gp2 is well understood, that of Gp5.7 remains to be fully deciphered. Here, we present results from functional and structural analyses to reveal that Gp5.7 primarily serves to inhibit EσS, the predominant form of the RNAP in the stationary phase of growth, which accumulates in exponentially growing E. coli as a consequence of the buildup of guanosine pentaphosphate [(p)ppGpp] during T7 development. We further demonstrate a requirement of Gp5.7 for T7 development in E. coli cells in the stationary phase of growth. Our finding represents a paradigm for how some lytic phages have evolved distinct mechanisms to inhibit the bacterial transcription machinery to facilitate phage development in bacteria in the exponential and stationary phases of growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E5353-E5362
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number23
StatePublished - 5 Jun 2018


FundersFunder number
Wellcome Trust100280, 100958, 104833


    • Escherichia coli
    • RNA polymerase
    • Stationary phase
    • T7 phage
    • Transcription regulation


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