Inadequate inhibition of host RNA polymerase restricts T7 bacteriophage growth on hosts overexpressing udk

Udi Qimron, Arkadiusz W. Kulczyk, Samir M. Hamdan, Stanley Tabor, Charles C. Richardson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Overexpression of udk, an Escherichia coli gene encoding a uridine/cytidine kinase, interferes with T7 bacteriophage growth. We show here that inhibition of T7 phage growth by udk overexpression can be overcome by inhibition of host RNA polymerase. Overexpression of gene 2, whose product inhibits host RNA polymerase, restores T7 phage growth on hosts overexpressing udk. In addition, rifampicin, an inhibitor of host RNA polymerase, restores the burst size of T7 phage on udk-overexpressing hosts to normal. In agreement with these findings, suppressor mutants that overcome the inhibition arising from udk overexpression gain the ability to grow on hosts that are resistant to inhibition of RNA polymerase by gene 2 protein, and suppressor mutants that overcome a lack of gene 2 protein gain the ability to grow on hosts that overexpress udk. Mutations that eliminate or weaken strong promoters for host RNA polymerase in T7 DNA, and mutations in T7 gene 3.5 that affect its interaction with T7 RNA polymerase, also reduce the interference with T7 growth by host RNA polymerase. We propose a general model for the requirement of host RNA polymerase inhibition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)448-457
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Microbiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology

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