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The activity of ribosome modulation factor during growth of Escherichia coli under acidic conditions

El-Sharoud, W.M. and Niven, G.W. (2005) The activity of ribosome modulation factor during growth of Escherichia coli under acidic conditions. Archives of Microbiology, 184 (1). pp. 18-24. ISSN 0302-8933

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s00203-005-0025-0


Expression of the gene encoding ribosome modulation factor (RMF), as measured using an rmf-lacZ gene fusion, increased with decreasing pH in exponential phase cultures of Escherichia coli. Expression was inversely proportional to the growth rate and independent of the acidifying agent used and it was concluded that expression of rmf was growth rate controlled in exponential phase under acid conditions. Increased rmf expression during exponential phase was not accompanied by the formation of ribosome dimers as occurs during stationary phase. Nor did it appear to have a significant effect on cell survival under acid stress since the vulnerability of an RMF-deficient mutant strain was similar to that of the parent strain. Ribosome degradation was increased in the mutant strain compared to the parent strain at pH 3.75. Also, the peptide elongation rate was reduced in the mutant strain but not the parent during growth under acid conditions. It is speculated that the function of RMF during stress-induced reduction in growth rate is two-fold: firstly to prevent reduced elongation efficiency by inactivating surplus ribosomes and thus limiting competition for available protein synthesis factors, and secondly to protect inactivated ribosomes from degradation.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences
ID Code:13437
Uncontrolled Keywords:ribosome modulation factor, RMF, acid stress, ribosome dimerisation

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