The prgQ gene of the Enterococcus faecalis tetracycline resistance plasmid pCF10 encodes a peptide inhibitor, iCF10

J. Nakayama, R. E. Ruhfel, G. M. Dunny, A. Isogai, A. Suzuki

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

64 Scopus citations

Abstract

Conjugative transfer of the Enterococcus faecalis tetracycline resistance plasmid pCF10 is stimulated by a peptide pheromone, cCF10. Once a recipient strain acquires pCF10 and thus becomes a pheromone-responsive donor, cCF10 activity is no longer detected in culture filtrates. Here we show that pCF10 encodes a peptide inhibitor, iCF10, secreted by donor cells; this inhibitor antagonizes the cCF10 activity in culture filtrates. In order to detect and quantitate iCF10, we developed a reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography assay in which the inhibitor peptide elutes separately from the pheromone; this type of assay enabled us to determine that lack of pheromone activity in donor culture filtrates was due to secretion of a mixture of iCF10 and cCF10, rather than abolition of cCF10 secretion. The gene encoding iCF10, prgQ, is located on the EcoRI-C fragment of pCF10. The open reading frame comprising the prgQ gene encodes a 23-amino-acid precursor that resembles a signal peptide. This precursor is cleaved to the mature heptapeptide iCF10 during the secretion process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7405-7408
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Volume176
Issue number23
DOIs
StatePublished - 1994

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