Summary: Antitoxin component of bacterial toxin-antitoxin system, MqsA
Pfam includes annotations and additional family information from a range of different sources. These sources can be accessed via the tabs below.
This is the Wikipedia entry entitled "Toxin-antitoxin system". More...
The Wikipedia text that you see displayed here is a download from Wikipedia. This means that the information we display is a copy of the information from the Wikipedia database. The button next to the article title ("Edit Wikipedia article") takes you to the edit page for the article directly within Wikipedia. You should be aware you are not editing our local copy of this information. Any changes that you make to the Wikipedia article will not be displayed here until we next download the article from Wikipedia. We currently download new content on a nightly basis.
Does Pfam agree with the content of the Wikipedia entry ?
Pfam has chosen to link families to Wikipedia articles. In some case we have created or edited these articles but in many other cases we have not made any direct contribution to the content of the article. The Wikipedia community does monitor edits to try to ensure that (a) the quality of article annotation increases, and (b) vandalism is very quickly dealt with. However, we would like to emphasise that Pfam does not curate the Wikipedia entries and we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information on the Wikipedia page.
Editing Wikipedia articles
Before you edit for the first time
Wikipedia is a free, online encyclopedia. Although anyone can edit or contribute to an article, Wikipedia has some strong editing guidelines and policies, which promote the Wikipedia standard of style and etiquette. Your edits and contributions are more likely to be accepted (and remain) if they are in accordance with this policy.
You should take a few minutes to view the following pages:
How your contribution will be recorded
Anyone can edit a Wikipedia entry. You can do this either as a new user or you can register with Wikipedia and log on. When you click on the "Edit Wikipedia article" button, your browser will direct you to the edit page for this entry in Wikipedia. If you are a registered user and currently logged in, your changes will be recorded under your Wikipedia user name. However, if you are not a registered user or are not logged on, your changes will be logged under your computer's IP address. This has two main implications. Firstly, as a registered Wikipedia user your edits are more likely seen as valuable contribution (although all edits are open to community scrutiny regardless). Secondly, if you edit under an IP address you may be sharing this IP address with other users. If your IP address has previously been blocked (due to being flagged as a source of 'vandalism') your edits will also be blocked. You can find more information on this and creating a user account at Wikipedia.
If you have problems editing a particular page, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try to help.
The community annotation is a new facility of the Pfam web site. If you have problems editing or experience problems with these pages please contact us.
Toxin-antitoxin system Edit Wikipedia article
A toxin-antitoxin system is a set of two or more closely linked genes that together encode both a protein 'poison' and a corresponding 'antidote'. When these systems are contained on plasmids – transferable genetic elements – they ensure that only the daughter cells that inherit the plasmid survive after cell division. If the plasmid is absent in a daughter cell, the unstable antitoxin is degraded and the stable toxic protein kills the new cell; this is known as 'post-segregational killing' (PSK). Toxin-antitoxin systems are widely distributed in prokaryotes, and organisms often have them in multiple copies.
Toxin-antitoxin systems are typically classified according to how the antitoxin neutralises the toxin. In a Type I toxin-antitoxin system, the translation of messenger RNA (mRNA) that encodes the toxin is inhibited by the binding of a small non-coding RNA antitoxin to the mRNA. The protein toxin in a type II system is inhibited post-translationally by the binding of another protein antitoxin. Type III toxin-antitoxin systems consist of a small RNA that binds directly to the toxin protein. There are also types IV-VI, which are less common. Toxin-antitoxin genes are often transferred through horizontal gene transfer and are associated with pathogenic bacteria, having been found on plasmids conferring antibiotic resistance and virulence.
Chromosomal toxin-antitoxin systems also exist, some of which perform cell functions such as responding to stresses, causing cell cycle arrest and bringing about programmed cell death. In evolutionary terms, toxin-antitoxin systems can be considered selfish DNA in that the purpose of the systems are to replicate, regardless of whether they benefit the host organism or not. Some have proposed adaptive theories to explain the evolution of toxin-antitoxin systems; for example, chromosomal toxin-antitoxin systems could have evolved to prevent the inheritance of large deletions of the host genome. Toxin-antitoxin systems have several biotechnological applications, such as a method of maintaining plasmids in cell lines, targets for antibiotics, and as positive selection vectors.
Plasmid stabilising toxin-antitoxin systems have been used as examples of selfish DNA as part of the gene centered view of evolution. It has been theorised that toxin-antitoxin loci serve only to maintain their own DNA, at the expense of the host organism. Other theories propose the systems have evolved to increase the fitness of plasmids in competition with other plasmids. Thus, the toxin-antitoxin system confers an advantage to the host DNA by eliminating competing plasmids in cell progeny. This theory was corroborated through computer modelling. This does not, however, explain the presence of toxin-antitoxin systems on chromosomes.
Chromosomal toxin-antitoxin systems have a number of adaptive theories explaining their success at natural selection. The simplest explanation of their existence on chromosomes is that they prevent harmful large deletions of the cell's genome, though arguably deletions of large coding regions are fatal to a daughter cell regardless. MazEF, a toxin-antitoxin locus found in E. coli and other bacteria, induces programmed cell death in response to starvation, specifically a lack of amino acids. This releases the cell's contents for absorption by neighbouring cells, potentially preventing the death of close relatives, and thereby increasing the inclusive fitness of the cell that perished. This is an example of altruism and how bacterial colonies resemble multicellular organisms. However, the "mazEF mediated PCD" is largely refuted by several studies.
Another theory states that chromosomal toxin-antitoxin systems are designed to be bacteriostatic rather than bactericidal. RelE, for example, is a global inhibitor of translation during nutrient stress, and its expression reduces the chance of starvation by lowering the cell's nutrient requirements. A homologue of mazF toxin called mazF-mx is essential for fruiting body formation in Myxococcus xanthus. When nutrients become limiting in this swarming bacteria, a group of 50,000 cells converge into a fruiting body structure. The maxF-mx toxin is a component of this nutrient-stress pathway; it enables a percentage of cells within the fruiting body to form myxospores. It has been suggested that M. xanthus has hijacked the toxin-antitoxin system, replacing the antitoxin with its own molecular control to regulate its development.
It has also been proposed that chromosomal copies of plasmid toxin-antitoxin systems may serve as anti-addiction modules – a method of omitting a plasmid from progeny without suffering the effects of the toxin. An example of this is an antitoxin on the Erwinia chrysanthemi genome that counteracts the toxic activity of an F plasmid toxin counterpart.
- Junk – they have been acquired from plasmids and retained due to their addictive nature.
- Stabilisation of genomic parasites – chromosomal remnants from transposons and bacteriophages.
- Selfish alleles – non-addictive alleles are unable to replace addictive alleles during recombination but the opposite is able to occur.
- Gene regulation – some toxins act as a means of general repression of gene expression while others are more specific.
- Growth control – bacteriostatic toxins, as mentioned above, restrict growth rather than killing the host cell.
- Persisters – some bacterial populations contain a sub-population of 'persisters' that are slow-growing, hardy individuals, which potentially insure the population against catastrophic loss. At least with regard to endoribonuclease encoding Type II TA systems, their role in persistence is highly debated. What has been demonstrated by experiments and modelling  is that an imbalance between the level of toxin and its antitoxin, either by mutations  or by overexpression results in high persistence.
- Programmed cell arrest and the preservation of the commons – the altruistic explanation as demonstrated by MazEF, detailed above.
- Programmed cell death – similar to the above function, although individuals must have variable stress survival level to prevent entire population destruction.
- Antiphage mechanism – when bacteriophage interrupt the host cell's transcription and translation, a toxin-antitoxin system may be activated that limits the phage's replication.
An experiment where five TA systems were deleted from a strain of E. coli found no evidence that the TA systems conferred an advantage to the host. This result casts doubt on the growth control and programmed cell death hypotheses. As of the existing knowledge in 2017, the chromosomal Type II TA systems are horizontally propagating selfish DNA which may have played a role in antiaddiction to TA encoding plasmids.
Type I toxin-antitoxin systems rely on the base-pairing of complementary antitoxin RNA with the toxin's mRNA. Translation of the mRNA is then inhibited either by degradation via RNase III or by occluding the Shine-Dalgarno sequence or ribosome binding site. Often the toxin and antitoxin are encoded on opposite strands of DNA. The 5' or 3' overlapping region between the two genes is the area involved in complementary base-pairing, usually with between 19–23 contiguous base pairs.
Toxins of type I systems are small, hydrophobic proteins that confer toxicity by damaging cell membranes. Few intracellular targets of type I toxins have been identified, possibly due to the difficult nature of analysing proteins that are poisonous to their bacterial hosts.
Type I systems sometimes include a third component. In the case of the well-characterised hok/sok system, in addition to the hok toxin and sok antitoxin, there is a third gene, called mok. This open reading frame almost entirely overlaps that of the toxin, and the translation of the toxin is dependent on the translation of this third component. Thus the binding of antitoxin to toxin is sometimes a simplification, and the antitoxin in fact binds a third RNA, which then affects toxin translation.
|Hok||Sok||The original and best-understood type I toxin-antitoxin system (pictured), which stabilises plasmids in a number of gram-negative bacteria|||
|fst||RNAII||The first type I system to be identified in gram-positive bacteria|||
|TisB||IstR||Responds to DNA damage|||
|LdrD||RdlD||A chromosomal system in Enterobacteriaceae|||
|FlmA||FlmB||A hok/sok homologue, which also stabilises the F plasmid|||
|Ibs||Sib||Discovered in E. coli intergenic regions, the antitoxin was originally named QUAD RNA|||
|TxpA/BrnT||RatA||Ensures the inheritance of the skin element during sporulation in Bacillus subtilis|||
|SymE||SymR||A chromosomal system induced as an SOS response|||
|XCV2162||ptaRNA1||A system identified in Xanthomonas campestris with erratic phylogenetic distribution.|||
Type II toxin-antitoxin systems are generally better-understood than type I. In this system a labile protein antitoxin tightly binds and inhibits the activity of a stable toxin. The largest family of type II toxin-antitoxin systems is vapBC, which has been found through bioinformatics searches to represent between 37 and 42% of all predicted type II loci.
Type II systems are organised in operons with the antitoxin protein typically being located upstream of the toxin, which helps to prevent expression of the toxin without the antitoxin. The proteins are typically around 100 amino acids in length, and exhibit toxicity in a number of ways: CcdB protein, for example, affects DNA gyrase by poisoning DNA topoisomerase II whereas MazF protein is a toxic endoribonuclease that cleaves cellular mRNAs at specific sequence motifs. The most common toxic activity is the protein acting as an endonuclease, also known as an interferase.
A third protein can sometimes be involved in type II toxin-antitoxin systems. In the case of the aforementioned MazEF addiction module, in addition to the toxin and antitoxin there is a regulatory protein involved called MazG. MazG protein interacts with E. coli's Era GTPase and is described as a 'nucleoside triphosphate pyrophosphohydrolase,' which hydrolyses nucleoside triphosphates to monophosphates. Later research showed that MazG is transcribed in the same polycistronic mRNA as MazE and MazF, and that MazG bound the MazF toxin to further inhibit its activity.
Unlike the aforementioned toxin-antitoxin systems, DarTG is a considered a type II system, in which both the toxin and the antitoxin have enzymatic activity. The DarG antitoxin does not inhibit the DarT toxin, which modifies DNA by ADP-ribosylating specific sequence motifs, but instead removes the toxic modification caused by the toxin and therefore DarTG could be considered a type IV system.
|CcdB||CcdA||Found on the F plasmid of Escherichia coli|||
|ParE||ParD||Found in multiple copies in Caulobacter crescentus|||
|MazF||MazE||Found in E. coli and in chromosomes of other bacteria|||
|yafO||yafN||A system induced by the SOS response to DNA damage in E. coli|||
|HicA||HicB||Found in archaea and bacteria|||
|Kid||Kis||Stabilises the R1 plasmid and is related to the CcdB/A system|||
|Zeta||Epsilon||Found mostly in Gram-positive bacteria|||
|DarT||DarG||Found in archaea and bacteria|||
|Symbol||ToxN, type III toxin-antitoxin system|
Type III toxin-antitoxin systems rely on direct interaction between a toxic protein and an RNA antitoxin. The toxic effects of the protein are neutralised by the RNA gene. One example is the ToxIN system from the bacterial plant pathogen Erwinia carotovora. The toxic ToxN protein is approximately 170 amino acids long and has been shown to be toxic to E. coli. The toxic activity of ToxN is inhibited by ToxI RNA, an RNA with 5.5 direct repeats of a 36 nucleotide motif (AGGTGATTTGCTACCTTTAAGTGCAGCTAGAAATTC). Crystallographic analysis of ToxIN has found that ToxN inhibition requires the formation of a trimeric ToxIN complex, whereby three ToxI monomers bind three ToxN monomers; the complex is held together by extensive protein-RNA interactions.
Type IV toxin-antitoxin systems are similar to type II systems, because they consist of two proteins. Unlike type II systems, the antitoxin in type IV toxin-antitoxin systems counteracts the activity of the toxin, and the two proteins do not directly interact.
GhoT/GhoS is a type V toxin-antitoxin system, in which the antitoxin (GhoS) cleaves the ghoT mRNA. This system is regulated by the type II system, MsqR/MsqA.
The biotechnological applications of toxin-antitoxin systems have begun to be realised by several biotechnology organisations. A primary usage is in maintaining plasmids in a large bacterial cell culture. In an experiment examining the effectiveness of the hok/sok locus, it was found that segregational stability of an inserted plasmid expressing beta-galactosidase was increased by between 8 and 22 times compared to a control culture lacking a toxin-antitoxin system. In large-scale microorganism processes such as fermentation, progeny cells lacking the plasmid insert often have a higher fitness than those who inherit the plasmid and can outcompete the desirable microorganisms. A toxin-antitoxin system maintains the plasmid thereby maintaining the efficiency of the industrial process.
Ensuring a plasmid accepts an insert is a common problem of DNA cloning. Toxin-antitoxin systems can be used to positively select for only those cells that have taken up a plasmid containing the inserted gene of interest, screening out those that lack the inserted gene. An example of this application comes from CcdB-encoded toxin, which has been incorporated into plasmid vectors. The gene of interest is then targeted to recombine into the CcdB locus, inactivating the transcription of the toxic protein. Thus, cells containing the plasmid but not the insert perish due to the toxic effects of CcdB protein, and only those that incorporate the insert survive.
Another example application involves both the CcdB toxin and CcdA antitoxin. CcdB is found in recombinant bacterial genomes and an inactivated version of CcdA is inserted into a linearised plasmid vector. A short extra sequence is added to the gene of interest that activates the antitoxin when the insertion occurs. This method ensures orientation-specific gene insertion.
Genetically modified organisms must be contained in a pre-defined area during research. Toxin-antitoxin systems can cause cell suicide in certain conditions, such as a lack of a lab-specific growth medium they would not encounter outside of the controlled laboratory set-up.
- Van Melderen L, Saavedra De Bast M (March 2009). Rosenberg SM, ed. "Bacterial toxin-antitoxin systems: more than selfish entities?". PLoS Genetics. 5 (3): e1000437. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1000437. PMC . PMID 19325885.
- Gerdes K (February 2000). "Toxin-antitoxin modules may regulate synthesis of macromolecules during nutritional stress". Journal of Bacteriology. 182 (3): 561–72. doi:10.1128/JB.182.3.561-572.2000. PMC . PMID 10633087.
- Faridani OR, Nikravesh A, Pandey DP, Gerdes K, Good L (2006). "Competitive inhibition of natural antisense Sok-RNA interactions activates Hok-mediated cell killing in Escherichia coli". Nucleic Acids Research. 34 (20): 5915–22. doi:10.1093/nar/gkl750. PMC . PMID 17065468.
- Fozo EM, Makarova KS, Shabalina SA, Yutin N, Koonin EV, Storz G (June 2010). "Abundance of type I toxin-antitoxin systems in bacteria: searches for new candidates and discovery of novel families". Nucleic Acids Research. 38 (11): 3743–59. doi:10.1093/nar/gkq054. PMC . PMID 20156992.
- Gerdes K, Wagner EG (April 2007). "RNA antitoxins". Current Opinion in Microbiology. 10 (2): 117–24. doi:10.1016/j.mib.2007.03.003. PMID 17376733.
- Labrie SJ, Samson JE, Moineau S (May 2010). "Bacteriophage resistance mechanisms". Nature Reviews. Microbiology. 8 (5): 317–27. doi:10.1038/nrmicro2315. PMID 20348932.
- Page R, Peti W (April 2016). "Toxin-antitoxin systems in bacterial growth arrest and persistence". Nature Chemical Biology. 12 (4): 208–14. doi:10.1038/nchembio.2044. PMID 26991085.
- Mine N, Guglielmini J, Wilbaux M, Van Melderen L (April 2009). "The decay of the chromosomally encoded ccdO157 toxin-antitoxin system in the Escherichia coli species". Genetics. 181 (4): 1557–66. doi:10.1534/genetics.108.095190. PMC . PMID 19189956.
- Ramisetty BC, Santhosh RS (February 2016). "Horizontal gene transfer of chromosomal Type II toxin-antitoxin systems of Escherichia coli". FEMS Microbiology Letters. 363 (3). doi:10.1093/femsle/fnv238. PMID 26667220.
- Hayes F (September 2003). "Toxins-antitoxins: plasmid maintenance, programmed cell death, and cell cycle arrest". Science. 301 (5639): 1496–9. doi:10.1126/science.1088157. PMID 12970556.
- Rowe-Magnus DA, Guerout AM, Biskri L, Bouige P, Mazel D (March 2003). "Comparative analysis of superintegrons: engineering extensive genetic diversity in the Vibrionaceae". Genome Research. 13 (3): 428–42. doi:10.1101/gr.617103. PMC . PMID 12618374.
- Stieber D, Gabant P, Szpirer C (September 2008). "The art of selective killing: plasmid toxin/antitoxin systems and their technological applications". BioTechniques. 45 (3): 344–6. doi:10.2144/000112955. PMID 18778262.
- Cooper TF, Heinemann JA (November 2000). "Postsegregational killing does not increase plasmid stability but acts to mediate the exclusion of competing plasmids". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 97 (23): 12643–8. doi:10.1073/pnas.220077897. PMC . PMID 11058151.
- Mochizuki A, Yahara K, Kobayashi I, Iwasa Y (February 2006). "Genetic addiction: selfish gene's strategy for symbiosis in the genome". Genetics. 172 (2): 1309–23. doi:10.1534/genetics.105.042895. PMC . PMID 16299387.
- Pandey DP, Gerdes K (2005). "Toxin-antitoxin loci are highly abundant in free-living but lost from host-associated prokaryotes". Nucleic Acids Research. 33 (3): 966–76. doi:10.1093/nar/gki201. PMC . PMID 15718296.
- Sevin EW, Barloy-Hubler F (2007). "RASTA-Bacteria: a web-based tool for identifying toxin-antitoxin loci in prokaryotes". Genome Biology. 8 (8): R155. doi:10.1186/gb-2007-8-8-r155. PMC . PMID 17678530.
- Aizenman E, Engelberg-Kulka H, Glaser G (June 1996). "An Escherichia coli chromosomal "addiction module" regulated by guanosine [corrected] 3',5'-bispyrophosphate: a model for programmed bacterial cell death". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 93 (12): 6059–63. doi:10.1073/pnas.93.12.6059. PMC . PMID 8650219.
- Ramisetty BC, Natarajan B, Santhosh RS (February 2015). "mazEF-mediated programmed cell death in bacteria: "what is this?"". Critical Reviews in Microbiology. 41 (1): 89–100. doi:10.3109/1040841X.2013.804030. PMID 23799870.
- Tsilibaris V, Maenhaut-Michel G, Mine N, Van Melderen L (September 2007). "What is the benefit to Escherichia coli of having multiple toxin-antitoxin systems in its genome?". Journal of Bacteriology. 189 (17): 6101–8. doi:10.1128/JB.00527-07. PMC . PMID 17513477.
- Ramisetty BC, Raj S, Ghosh D (December 2016). "Escherichia coli MazEF toxin-antitoxin system does not mediate programmed cell death". Journal of Basic Microbiology. 56 (12): 1398–1402. doi:10.1002/jobm.201600247. PMID 27259116.
- Diago-Navarro E, Hernandez-Arriaga AM, López-Villarejo J, Muñoz-Gómez AJ, Kamphuis MB, Boelens R, Lemonnier M, Díaz-Orejas R (August 2010). "parD toxin-antitoxin system of plasmid R1--basic contributions, biotechnological applications and relationships with closely-related toxin-antitoxin systems". The FEBS Journal. 277 (15): 3097–117. doi:10.1111/j.1742-4658.2010.07722.x. PMID 20569269.
- Christensen SK, Mikkelsen M, Pedersen K, Gerdes K (December 2001). "RelE, a global inhibitor of translation, is activated during nutritional stress". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 98 (25): 14328–33. doi:10.1073/pnas.251327898. PMC . PMID 11717402.
- Nariya H, Inouye M (January 2008). "MazF, an mRNA interferase, mediates programmed cell death during multicellular Myxococcus development". Cell. 132 (1): 55–66. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2007.11.044. PMID 18191220.
- Curtis PD, Taylor RG, Welch RD, Shimkets LJ (December 2007). "Spatial organization of Myxococcus xanthus during fruiting body formation". Journal of Bacteriology. 189 (24): 9126–30. doi:10.1128/JB.01008-07. PMC . PMID 17921303.
- Saavedra De Bast M, Mine N, Van Melderen L (July 2008). "Chromosomal toxin-antitoxin systems may act as antiaddiction modules". Journal of Bacteriology. 190 (13): 4603–9. doi:10.1128/JB.00357-08. PMC . PMID 18441063.
- Magnuson RD (September 2007). "Hypothetical functions of toxin-antitoxin systems". Journal of Bacteriology. 189 (17): 6089–92. doi:10.1128/JB.00958-07. PMC . PMID 17616596.
- Ramisetty BC, Santhosh RS (July 2017). "Endoribonuclease type II toxin-antitoxin systems: functional or selfish?". Microbiology. 163 (7): 931–939. doi:10.1099/mic.0.000487. PMID 28691660.
- Engelberg-Kulka H, Amitai S, Kolodkin-Gal I, Hazan R (October 2006). "Bacterial programmed cell death and multicellular behavior in bacteria". PLoS Genetics. 2 (10): e135. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.0020135. PMC . PMID 17069462.
- Pimentel B, Madine MA, de la Cueva-Méndez G (October 2005). "Kid cleaves specific mRNAs at UUACU sites to rescue the copy number of plasmid R1". The EMBO Journal. 24 (19): 3459–69. doi:10.1038/sj.emboj.7600815. PMC . PMID 16163387.
- Kussell E, Kishony R, Balaban NQ, Leibler S (April 2005). "Bacterial persistence: a model of survival in changing environments". Genetics. 169 (4): 1807–14. doi:10.1534/genetics.104.035352. PMC . PMID 15687275.
- Ramisetty BC, Ghosh D, Roy Chowdhury M, Santhosh RS (2016). "What Is the Link between Stringent Response, Endoribonuclease Encoding Type II Toxin-Antitoxin Systems and Persistence?". Frontiers in Microbiology. 7: 1882. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2016.01882. PMC . PMID 27933045.
- Rotem E, Loinger A, Ronin I, Levin-Reisman I, Gabay C, Shoresh N, Biham O, Balaban NQ (July 2010). "Regulation of phenotypic variability by a threshold-based mechanism underlies bacterial persistence". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 107 (28): 12541–6. doi:10.1073/pnas.1004333107. PMC . PMID 20616060.
- Moyed HS, Bertrand KP (August 1983). "Mutations in multicopy Tn10 tet plasmids that confer resistance to inhibitory effects of inducers of tet gene expression". Journal of Bacteriology. 155 (2): 557–64. PMC . PMID 6307969.
- Fridman O, Goldberg A, Ronin I, Shoresh N, Balaban NQ (September 2014). "Optimization of lag time underlies antibiotic tolerance in evolved bacterial populations". Nature. 513 (7518): 418–21. doi:10.1038/nature13469. PMID 25043002.
- Korch SB, Hill TM (June 2006). "Ectopic overexpression of wild-type and mutant hipA genes in Escherichia coli: effects on macromolecular synthesis and persister formation". Journal of Bacteriology. 188 (11): 3826–36. doi:10.1128/JB.01740-05. PMC . PMID 16707675.
- Hazan R, Engelberg-Kulka H (September 2004). "Escherichia coli mazEF-mediated cell death as a defense mechanism that inhibits the spread of phage P1". Molecular Genetics and Genomics. 272 (2): 227–34. doi:10.1007/s00438-004-1048-y. PMID 15316771.
- Pecota DC, Wood TK (April 1996). "Exclusion of T4 phage by the hok/sok killer locus from plasmid R1". Journal of Bacteriology. 178 (7): 2044–50. doi:10.1128/jb.178.7.2044-2050.1996. PMC . PMID 8606182.
- Tsilibaris V, Maenhaut-Michel G, Mine N, Van Melderen L (September 2007). "What is the benefit to Escherichia coli of having multiple toxin-antitoxin systems in its genome?". Journal of Bacteriology. 189 (17): 6101–8. doi:10.1128/JB.00527-07. PMC . PMID 17513477.
- Fozo EM, Hemm MR, Storz G (December 2008). "Small toxic proteins and the antisense RNAs that repress them". Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews. 72 (4): 579–89, Table of Contents. doi:10.1128/MMBR.00025-08. PMC . PMID 19052321.
- Greenfield TJ, Ehli E, Kirshenmann T, Franch T, Gerdes K, Weaver KE (August 2000). "The antisense RNA of the par locus of pAD1 regulates the expression of a 33-amino-acid toxic peptide by an unusual mechanism". Molecular Microbiology. 37 (3): 652–60. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2958.2000.02035.x. PMID 10931358. (subscription required)
- Vogel J, Argaman L, Wagner EG, Altuvia S (December 2004). "The small RNA IstR inhibits synthesis of an SOS-induced toxic peptide". Current Biology. 14 (24): 2271–6. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2004.12.003. PMID 15620655.
- Kawano M, Oshima T, Kasai H, Mori H (July 2002). "Molecular characterization of long direct repeat (LDR) sequences expressing a stable mRNA encoding for a 35-amino-acid cell-killing peptide and a cis-encoded small antisense RNA in Escherichia coli". Molecular Microbiology. 45 (2): 333–49. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2958.2002.03042.x. PMID 12123448. (subscription required)
- Loh SM, Cram DS, Skurray RA (June 1988). "Nucleotide sequence and transcriptional analysis of a third function (Flm) involved in F-plasmid maintenance". Gene. 66 (2): 259–68. doi:10.1016/0378-1119(88)90362-9. PMID 3049248.
- Fozo EM, Kawano M, Fontaine F, Kaya Y, Mendieta KS, Jones KL, Ocampo A, Rudd KE, Storz G (December 2008). "Repression of small toxic protein synthesis by the Sib and OhsC small RNAs". Molecular Microbiology. 70 (5): 1076–93. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2958.2008.06394.x. PMC . PMID 18710431. (subscription required)
- Silvaggi JM, Perkins JB, Losick R (October 2005). "Small untranslated RNA antitoxin in Bacillus subtilis". Journal of Bacteriology. 187 (19): 6641–50. doi:10.1128/JB.187.19.6641-6650.2005. PMC . PMID 16166525.
- Findeiss S, Schmidtke C, Stadler PF, Bonas U (March 2010). "A novel family of plasmid-transferred anti-sense ncRNAs". RNA Biology. 7 (2): 120–4. doi:10.4161/rna.7.2.11184. PMID 20220307.
- Robson J, McKenzie JL, Cursons R, Cook GM, Arcus VL (July 2009). "The vapBC operon from Mycobacterium smegmatis is an autoregulated toxin-antitoxin module that controls growth via inhibition of translation". Journal of Molecular Biology. 390 (3): 353–67. doi:10.1016/j.jmb.2009.05.006. PMID 19445953.
- Deter HS, Jensen RV, Mather WH, Butzin NC (July 2017). "Mechanisms for Differential Protein Production in Toxin-Antitoxin Systems". Toxins. 9 (7): 211. doi:10.3390/toxins9070211. PMC . PMID 28677629.
- Bernard P, Couturier M (August 1992). "Cell killing by the F plasmid CcdB protein involves poisoning of DNA-topoisomerase II complexes". Journal of Molecular Biology. 226 (3): 735–45. doi:10.1016/0022-2836(92)90629-X. PMID 1324324.
- Zhang Y, Zhang J, Hoeflich KP, Ikura M, Qing G, Inouye M (October 2003). "MazF cleaves cellular mRNAs specifically at ACA to block protein synthesis in Escherichia coli". Molecular Cell. 12 (4): 913–23. doi:10.1016/S1097-2765(03)00402-7. PMID 14580342.
- Christensen-Dalsgaard M, Overgaard M, Winther KS, Gerdes K (2008). "RNA decay by messenger RNA interferases". Methods in Enzymology. Methods in Enzymology. 447: 521–35. doi:10.1016/S0076-6879(08)02225-8. ISBN 978-0-12-374377-0. PMID 19161859.
- Yamaguchi Y, Inouye M (2009). "mRNA interferases, sequence-specific endoribonucleases from the toxin-antitoxin systems". Progress in Molecular Biology and Translational Science. Progress in Molecular Biology and Translational Science. 85: 467–500. doi:10.1016/S0079-6603(08)00812-X. ISBN 978-0-12-374761-7. PMID 19215780.
- Singletary LA, Gibson JL, Tanner EJ, McKenzie GJ, Lee PL, Gonzalez C, Rosenberg SM (December 2009). "An SOS-regulated type 2 toxin-antitoxin system". Journal of Bacteriology. 191 (24): 7456–65. doi:10.1128/JB.00963-09. PMC . PMID 19837801.
- Zhang J, Inouye M (October 2002). "MazG, a nucleoside triphosphate pyrophosphohydrolase, interacts with Era, an essential GTPase in Escherichia coli". Journal of Bacteriology. 184 (19): 5323–9. doi:10.1128/JB.184.19.5323-5329.2002. PMC . PMID 12218018.
- Gross M, Marianovsky I, Glaser G (January 2006). "MazG -- a regulator of programmed cell death in Escherichia coli". Molecular Microbiology. 59 (2): 590–601. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2958.2005.04956.x. PMID 16390452. (subscription required)
- Jankevicius G, Ariza A, Ahel M, Ahel I (December 2016). "The Toxin-Antitoxin System DarTG Catalyzes Reversible ADP-Ribosylation of DNA". Molecular Cell. 64 (6): 1109–1116. doi:10.1016/j.molcel.2016.11.014. PMC . PMID 27939941.
- Fiebig A, Castro Rojas CM, Siegal-Gaskins D, Crosson S (July 2010). "Interaction specificity, toxicity and regulation of a paralogous set of ParE/RelE-family toxin-antitoxin systems". Molecular Microbiology. 77 (1): 236–51. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2958.2010.07207.x. PMC . PMID 20487277. (subscription required)
- Jørgensen MG, Pandey DP, Jaskolska M, Gerdes K (February 2009). "HicA of Escherichia coli defines a novel family of translation-independent mRNA interferases in bacteria and archaea". Journal of Bacteriology. 191 (4): 1191–9. doi:10.1128/JB.01013-08. PMC . PMID 19060138.
- Mutschler H, Meinhart A (December 2011). "ε/ζ systems: their role in resistance, virulence, and their potential for antibiotic development". Journal of Molecular Medicine. 89 (12): 1183–94. doi:10.1007/s00109-011-0797-4. PMC . PMID 21822621.
- Fineran PC, Blower TR, Foulds IJ, Humphreys DP, Lilley KS, Salmond GP (January 2009). "The phage abortive infection system, ToxIN, functions as a protein-RNA toxin-antitoxin pair". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 106 (3): 894–9. doi:10.1073/pnas.0808832106. PMC . PMID 19124776.
- Blower TR, Fineran PC, Johnson MJ, Toth IK, Humphreys DP, Salmond GP (October 2009). "Mutagenesis and functional characterization of the RNA and protein components of the toxIN abortive infection and toxin-antitoxin locus of Erwinia". Journal of Bacteriology. 191 (19): 6029–39. doi:10.1128/JB.00720-09. PMC . PMID 19633081.
- Blower TR, Pei XY, Short FL, Fineran PC, Humphreys DP, Luisi BF, Salmond GP (February 2011). "A processed noncoding RNA regulates an altruistic bacterial antiviral system". Nature Structural & Molecular Biology. 18 (2): 185–90. doi:10.1038/nsmb.1981. PMC . PMID 21240270.
- Brown JM, Shaw KJ (November 2003). "A novel family of Escherichia coli toxin-antitoxin gene pairs". Journal of Bacteriology. 185 (22): 6600–8. doi:10.1128/jb.185.22.6600-6608.2003. PMC . PMID 14594833.
- Wang X, Lord DM, Hong SH, Peti W, Benedik MJ, Page R, Wood TK (June 2013). "Type II toxin/antitoxin MqsR/MqsA controls type V toxin/antitoxin GhoT/GhoS". Environmental Microbiology. 15 (6): 1734–44. doi:10.1111/1462-2920.12063. PMC . PMID 23289863.
- Aakre CD, Phung TN, Huang D, Laub MT (December 2013). "A bacterial toxin inhibits DNA replication elongation through a direct interaction with the β sliding clamp". Molecular Cell. 52 (5): 617–28. doi:10.1016/j.molcel.2013.10.014. PMC . PMID 24239291.
- Wu K, Jahng D, Wood TK (1994). "Temperature and growth rate effects on the hok/sok killer locus for enhanced plasmid stability". Biotechnology Progress. 10 (6): 621–9. doi:10.1021/bp00030a600. PMID 7765697.
- Pecota DC, Kim CS, Wu K, Gerdes K, Wood TK (May 1997). "Combining the hok/sok, parDE, and pnd postsegregational killer loci to enhance plasmid stability". Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 63 (5): 1917–24. PMC . PMID 9143123.
- Gerdes K, Christensen SK, Løbner-Olesen A (May 2005). "Prokaryotic toxin-antitoxin stress response loci". Nature Reviews. Microbiology. 3 (5): 371–82. doi:10.1038/nrmicro1147. PMID 15864262.
- Bernard P, Gabant P, Bahassi EM, Couturier M (October 1994). "Positive-selection vectors using the F plasmid ccdB killer gene". Gene. 148 (1): 71–4. doi:10.1016/0378-1119(94)90235-6. PMID 7926841.
- Torres B, Jaenecke S, Timmis KN, García JL, Díaz E (December 2003). "A dual lethal system to enhance containment of recombinant micro-organisms". Microbiology. 149 (Pt 12): 3595–601. doi:10.1099/mic.0.26618-0. PMID 14663091.
- RASTA – Rapid Automated Scan for Toxins and Antitoxins in Bacteria
This tab holds the annotation information that is stored in the Pfam database. As we move to using Wikipedia as our main source of annotation, the contents of this tab will be gradually replaced by the Wikipedia tab.
Antitoxin component of bacterial toxin-antitoxin system, MqsA Provide feedback
MqsA_antitoxin is a family of prokaryotic proteins that act as antidotes to the mRNA interferase MqsR. It has a zinc-binding at the very N-terminus indicating its DNA-binding capacity. MqsR is the gene most highly upregulated in E. Colo MqsR_toxin is a family of bacterial toxins that act as an mRNA interferase. MqsR is the gene most highly upregulated in E. coli persister cells  and it plays an essential role in biofilm regulation  and cell signalling . It forms part of a bacterial toxin-antitoxin TA system, and as expected for a TA system, the expression of the MqsR toxin leads to growth arrest, while co-expression with its antitoxin, MqsA, rescues the growth arrest phenotype. In addition, MqsR associates with MqsA to form a tight, non-toxic complex and both MqsA alone and the MqsR:MqsA2 complex bind and regulate the mqsR promoter. The structure of MqsR shows that is is a member of the RelE/YoeB family of bacterial RNases that are structurally and functionally characterised bacterial toxins .
Brown BL, Grigoriu S, Kim Y, Arruda JM, Davenport A, Wood TK, Peti W, Page R;, PLoS Pathog. 2009;5:e1000706.: Three dimensional structure of the MqsR:MqsA complex: a novel TA pair comprised of a toxin homologous to RelE and an antitoxin with unique properties. PUBMED:20041169 EPMC:20041169
Gonzalez Barrios AF, Zuo R, Hashimoto Y, Yang L, Bentley WE, Wood TK;, J Bacteriol. 2006;188:305-316.: Autoinducer 2 controls biofilm formation in Escherichia coli through a novel motility quorum-sensing regulator (MqsR, B3022). PUBMED:16352847 EPMC:16352847
Internal database links
|SCOOP:||BetR HTH_11 HTH_19 HTH_23 HTH_24 HTH_25 HTH_26 HTH_28 HTH_3 HTH_31 HTH_37 HTH_Crp_2 Phage_CI_repr Sigma70_r4 YdaS_antitoxin YokU|
|Similarity to PfamA using HHSearch:||HTH_3 HTH_19 HTH_31|
This tab holds annotation information from the InterPro database.
InterPro entry IPR032758
This is a family of prokaryotic proteins that are the antitoxin components of the toxin-antitoxin (TA) modules. Proteins in this entry include MqsA from Escherichia coli and HigA-2 from Vibrio cholerae serotype O1. MqsA acts as antidote to the mRNA interferase MqsR [PUBMED:24212724], while HigA-2 counteracts the effect of the HigB-2 toxin [PUBMED:17020579].
MqsA has a zinc-binding at the very N terminus indicating its DNA-binding capacity. MqsR is a family of bacterial toxins that act as an mRNA interferase. The mqsR gene is the gene most highly upregulated in E. coli persister cells [PUBMED:16768798] and the MgsR protein plays an essential role in biofilm regulation [PUBMED:16352847] and cell signalling [PUBMED:14727089]. It forms part of a bacterial toxin-antitoxin TA system, and as expected for a TA system, the expression of the MqsR toxin leads to growth arrest, while co-expression with its antitoxin, MqsA, rescues the growth arrest phenotype. In addition, MqsR associates with MqsA to form a tight, non-toxic complex and both MqsA alone and the MqsR:MqsA2:MqsR complex bind and regulate the mqsR promoter. The structure of MqsR shows that is is a member of the RelE/YoeB family of bacterial RNases that are structurally and functionally characterised bacterial toxins [PUBMED:20041169].
Below is a listing of the unique domain organisations or architectures in which this domain is found. More...
The graphic that is shown by default represents the longest sequence with a given architecture. Each row contains the following information:
- the number of sequences which exhibit this architecture
a textual description of the architecture, e.g. Gla, EGF x 2, Trypsin.
This example describes an architecture with one
Gladomain, followed by two consecutive
EGFdomains, and finally a single
- a link to the page in the Pfam site showing information about the sequence that the graphic describes
- the UniProt description of the protein sequence
- the number of residues in the sequence
- the Pfam graphic itself.
Note that you can see the family page for a particular domain by clicking on the graphic. You can also choose to see all sequences which have a given architecture by clicking on the Show link in each row.
Finally, because some families can be found in a very large number of architectures, we load only the first fifty architectures by default. If you want to see more architectures, click the button at the bottom of the page to load the next set.
Loading domain graphics...
This family contains a diverse range of mostly DNA-binding domains that contain a helix-turn-helix motif.
The clan contains the following 340 members:AbiEi_3_N AbiEi_4 ANAPC2 AphA_like Arg_repressor ARID ArsR B-block_TFIIIC B5 Bac_DnaA_C Baculo_PEP_N BetR BHD_3 BLACT_WH Bot1p BrkDBD BsuBI_PstI_RE_N C_LFY_FLO CaiF_GrlA CarD_CdnL_TRCF CDC27 Cdc6_C Cdh1_DBD_1 CDT1 CDT1_C CENP-B_N Costars CPSase_L_D3 Cro Crp CSN4_RPN5_eIF3a CSN8_PSD8_EIF3K CtsR Cullin_Nedd8 CUT CUTL CvfB_WH DBD_HTH DDRGK DEP Dimerisation Dimerisation2 DNA_meth_N DpnI_C DprA_WH DsrC DsrD DUF1016_N DUF1133 DUF1153 DUF1323 DUF134 DUF1441 DUF1492 DUF1495 DUF1670 DUF1804 DUF1819 DUF1836 DUF1870 DUF2089 DUF2250 DUF2316 DUF2513 DUF2582 DUF3116 DUF3253 DUF3853 DUF3860 DUF3908 DUF433 DUF4364 DUF4423 DUF4447 DUF480 DUF4817 DUF5635 DUF573 DUF722 DUF739 DUF742 DUF977 E2F_TDP EAP30 eIF-5_eIF-2B ELL ESCRT-II Ets EutK_C Exc F-112 FaeA Fe_dep_repr_C Fe_dep_repress FeoC FokI_C FokI_N Forkhead FtsK_gamma FUR GcrA GerE GntR GP3_package HARE-HTH HemN_C HNF-1_N Homeobox_KN Homeodomain Homez HPD HrcA_DNA-bdg HSF_DNA-bind HTH_1 HTH_10 HTH_11 HTH_12 HTH_13 HTH_15 HTH_16 HTH_17 HTH_18 HTH_19 HTH_20 HTH_21 HTH_22 HTH_23 HTH_24 HTH_25 HTH_26 HTH_27 HTH_28 HTH_29 HTH_3 HTH_30 HTH_31 HTH_32 HTH_33 HTH_34 HTH_35 HTH_36 HTH_37 HTH_38 HTH_39 HTH_40 HTH_41 HTH_42 HTH_43 HTH_45 HTH_46 HTH_47 HTH_48 HTH_49 HTH_5 HTH_50 HTH_51 HTH_52 HTH_53 HTH_54 HTH_55 HTH_56 HTH_57 HTH_6 HTH_7 HTH_8 HTH_9 HTH_ABP1_N HTH_AraC HTH_AsnC-type HTH_CodY HTH_Crp_2 HTH_DeoR HTH_IclR HTH_Mga HTH_micro HTH_OrfB_IS605 HTH_ParB HTH_psq HTH_Tnp_1 HTH_Tnp_1_2 HTH_Tnp_4 HTH_Tnp_IS1 HTH_Tnp_IS630 HTH_Tnp_ISL3 HTH_Tnp_Mu_1 HTH_Tnp_Mu_2 HTH_Tnp_Tc3_1 HTH_Tnp_Tc3_2 HTH_Tnp_Tc5 HTH_WhiA HxlR IBD IF2_N IRF KicB KilA-N Kin17_mid KORA KorB La LacI LexA_DNA_bind Linker_histone LZ_Tnp_IS481 MADF_DNA_bdg MAGE MarR MarR_2 MerR MerR-DNA-bind MerR_1 MerR_2 Mga Mnd1 MogR_DNAbind Mor MotA_activ MqsA_antitoxin MRP-L20 MukE Myb_DNA-bind_2 Myb_DNA-bind_3 Myb_DNA-bind_4 Myb_DNA-bind_5 Myb_DNA-bind_6 Myb_DNA-bind_7 Myb_DNA-binding Neugrin NFRKB_winged NOD2_WH NUMOD1 ORC_WH_C OST-HTH P22_Cro PaaX PadR PapB PAX PCI Penicillinase_R Phage_AlpA Phage_antitermQ Phage_CI_repr Phage_CII Phage_NinH Phage_Nu1 Phage_rep_O Phage_rep_org_N Phage_terminase PheRS_DBD1 PheRS_DBD2 PheRS_DBD3 Pou Pox_D5 PqqD PRC2_HTH_1 PUFD PuR_N Put_DNA-bind_N Raf1_HTH Rap1-DNA-bind Rep_3 RepA_C RepA_N RepC RepL Replic_Relax RFX_DNA_binding Ribosomal_S18 Ribosomal_S19e Ribosomal_S25 Rio2_N RNA_pol_Rpc34 RNA_pol_Rpc82 RNase_H2-Ydr279 ROQ_II RP-C RPA RPA_C RQC Rrf2 RTP RuvB_C S10_plectin SAC3_GANP SANT_DAMP1_like SatD SelB-wing_1 SelB-wing_2 SelB-wing_3 SgrR_N Sigma54_CBD Sigma54_DBD Sigma70_ECF Sigma70_ner Sigma70_r2 Sigma70_r3 Sigma70_r4 Sigma70_r4_2 Ski_Sno SLIDE Slx4 SMC_Nse1 SMC_ScpB SoPB_HTH SpoIIID SRP19 SRP_SPB STN1_2 Sulfolobus_pRN Sun2_CC2 Suv3_N Swi6_N SWIRM Tau95 TBPIP TEA Terminase_5 TetR_N TFA2_Winged_2 TFIIE_alpha TFIIE_beta TFIIF_alpha TFIIF_beta Tn7_Tnp_TnsA_C Tn916-Xis TraI_2_C Trans_reg_C TrfA TrmB tRNA_bind_2 tRNA_bind_3 Trp_repressor UPF0122 UPF0175 Vir_act_alpha_C YdaS_antitoxin YjcQ YokU z-alpha
We store a range of different sequence alignments for families. As well as the seed alignment from which the family is built, we provide the full alignment, generated by searching the sequence database (reference proteomes) using the family HMM. We also generate alignments using four representative proteomes (RP) sets, the UniProtKB sequence database, the NCBI sequence database, and our metagenomics sequence database. More...
There are various ways to view or download the sequence alignments that we store. We provide several sequence viewers and a plain-text Stockholm-format file for download.
We make a range of alignments for each Pfam-A family:
- the curated alignment from which the HMM for the family is built
- the alignment generated by searching the sequence database using the HMM
- Representative Proteomes (RPs) at 15%, 35%, 55% and 75% co-membership thresholds
- alignment generated by searching the UniProtKB sequence database using the family HMM
- alignment generated by searching the NCBI sequence database using the family HMM
- alignment generated by searching the metagenomics sequence database using the family HMM
You can see the alignments as HTML or in three different sequence viewers:
- a Java applet developed at the University of Dundee. You will need Java installed before running jalview
- an HTML page showing the whole alignment.Please note: full Pfam alignments can be very large. These HTML views are extremely large and often cause problems for browsers. Please use either jalview or the Pfam viewer if you have trouble viewing the HTML version
- an HTML-based representation of the alignment, coloured according to the posterior-probability (PP) values from the HMM. As for the standard HTML view, heatmap alignments can also be very large and slow to render.
You can download (or view in your browser) a text representation of a Pfam alignment in various formats:
You can also change the order in which sequences are listed in the alignment, change how insertions are represented, alter the characters that are used to represent gaps in sequences and, finally, choose whether to download the alignment or to view it in your browser directly.
You may find that large alignments cause problems for the viewers and the reformatting tool, so we also provide all alignments in Stockholm format. You can download either the plain text alignment, or a gzipped version of it.
We make a range of alignments for each Pfam-A family. You can see a description of each above. You can view these alignments in various ways but please note that some types of alignment are never generated while others may not be available for all families, most commonly because the alignments are too large to handle.
1Cannot generate PP/Heatmap alignments for seeds; no PP data available
Key: available, not generated, — not available.
Format an alignment
We make all of our alignments available in Stockholm format. You can download them here as raw, plain text files or as gzip-compressed files.
You can also download a FASTA format file containing the full-length sequences for all sequences in the full alignment.
HMM logos is one way of visualising profile HMMs. Logos provide a quick overview of the properties of an HMM in a graphical form. You can see a more detailed description of HMM logos and find out how you can interpret them here. More...
If you find these logos useful in your own work, please consider citing the following article:
This page displays the phylogenetic tree for this family's seed alignment. We use FastTree to calculate neighbour join trees with a local bootstrap based on 100 resamples (shown next to the tree nodes). FastTree calculates approximately-maximum-likelihood phylogenetic trees from our seed alignment.
Note: You can also download the data file for the tree.
Curation and family details
This section shows the detailed information about the Pfam family. You can see the definitions of many of the terms in this section in the glossary and a fuller explanation of the scoring system that we use in the scores section of the help pages.
|Number in seed:||10|
|Number in full:||538|
|Average length of the domain:||112.90 aa|
|Average identity of full alignment:||23 %|
|Average coverage of the sequence by the domain:||70.10 %|
|HMM build commands:||
build method: hmmbuild -o /dev/null HMM SEED
search method: hmmsearch -Z 45638612 -E 1000 --cpu 4 HMM pfamseq
|Family (HMM) version:||5|
|Download:||download the raw HMM for this family|
Weight segments by...
Change the size of the sunburst
selected sequences to HMM
a FASTA-format file
- 0 sequences
- 0 species
This visualisation provides a simple graphical representation of the distribution of this family across species. You can find the original interactive tree in the More....
This chart is a modified "sunburst" visualisation of the species tree for this family. It shows each node in the tree as a separate arc, arranged radially with the superkingdoms at the centre and the species arrayed around the outermost ring.
How the sunburst is generated
The tree is built by considering the taxonomic lineage of each sequence that has a match to this family. For each node in the resulting tree, we draw an arc in the sunburst. The radius of the arc, its distance from the root node at the centre of the sunburst, shows the taxonomic level ("superkingdom", "kingdom", etc). The length of the arc represents either the number of sequences represented at a given level, or the number of species that are found beneath the node in the tree. The weighting scheme can be changed using the sunburst controls.
In order to reduce the complexity of the representation, we reduce the number of taxonomic levels that we show. We consider only the following eight major taxonomic levels:
Colouring and labels
Segments of the tree are coloured approximately according to their superkingdom. For example, archeal branches are coloured with shades of orange, eukaryotes in shades of purple, etc. The colour assignments are shown under the sunburst controls. Where space allows, the name of the taxonomic level will be written on the arc itself.
As you move your mouse across the sunburst, the current node will be highlighted. In the top section of the controls panel we show a summary of the lineage of the currently highlighed node. If you pause over an arc, a tooltip will be shown, giving the name of the taxonomic level in the title and a summary of the number of sequences and species below that node in the tree.
Anomalies in the taxonomy tree
There are some situations that the sunburst tree cannot easily handle and for which we have work-arounds in place.
Missing taxonomic levels
Some species in the taxonomic tree may not have one or more of the main eight levels that we display. For example, Bos taurus is not assigned an order in the NCBI taxonomic tree. In such cases we mark the omitted level with, for example, "No order", in both the tooltip and the lineage summary.
Unmapped species names
The tree is built by looking at each sequence in the full alignment for the family. We take the name of the species given by UniProt and try to map that to the full taxonomic tree from NCBI. In some cases, the name chosen by UniProt does not map to any node in the NCBI tree, perhaps because the chosen name is listed as a synonym or a misspelling in the NCBI taxonomy.
So that these nodes are not simply omitted from the sunburst tree, we group them together in a separate branch (or segment of the sunburst tree). Since we cannot determine the lineage for these unmapped species, we show all levels between the superkingdom and the species as "uncategorised".
Since we reduce the species tree to only the eight main taxonomic levels, sequences that are mapped to the sub-species level in the tree would not normally be shown. Rather than leave out these species, we map them instead to their parent species. So, for example, for sequences belonging to one of the Vibrio cholerae sub-species in the NCBI taxonomy, we show them instead as belonging to the species Vibrio cholerae.
Too many species/sequences
For large species trees, you may see blank regions in the outer layers of the sunburst. These occur when there are large numbers of arcs to be drawn in a small space. If an arc is less than approximately one pixel wide, it will not be drawn and the space will be left blank. You may still be able to get some information about the species in that region by moving your mouse across the area, but since each arc will be very small, it will be difficult to accurately locate a particular species.
The tree shows the occurrence of this domain across different species. More...
We show the species tree in one of two ways. For smaller trees we try to show an interactive representation, which allows you to select specific nodes in the tree and view them as an alignment or as a set of Pfam domain graphics.
Unfortunately we have found that there are problems viewing the interactive tree when the it becomes larger than a certain limit. Furthermore, we have found that Internet Explorer can become unresponsive when viewing some trees, regardless of their size. We therefore show a text representation of the species tree when the size is above a certain limit or if you are using Internet Explorer to view the site.
If you are using IE you can still load the interactive tree by clicking the "Generate interactive tree" button, but please be aware of the potential problems that the interactive species tree can cause.
For all of the domain matches in a full alignment, we count the number that are found on all sequences in the alignment. This total is shown in the purple box.
We also count the number of unique sequences on which each domain is found, which is shown in green. Note that a domain may appear multiple times on the same sequence, leading to the difference between these two numbers.
Finally, we group sequences from the same organism according to the NCBI code that is assigned by UniProt, allowing us to count the number of distinct sequences on which the domain is found. This value is shown in the pink boxes.
We use the NCBI species tree to group organisms according to their taxonomy and this forms the structure of the displayed tree. Note that in some cases the trees are too large (have too many nodes) to allow us to build an interactive tree, but in most cases you can still view the tree in a plain text, non-interactive representation. Those species which are represented in the seed alignment for this domain are highlighted.
You can use the tree controls to manipulate how the interactive tree is displayed:
- show/hide the summary boxes
- highlight species that are represented in the seed alignment
- expand/collapse the tree or expand it to a given depth
- select a sub-tree or a set of species within the tree and view them graphically or as an alignment
- save a plain text representation of the tree
Please note: for large trees this can take some time. While the tree is loading, you can safely switch away from this tab but if you browse away from the family page entirely, the tree will not be loaded.
For those sequences which have a structure in the Protein DataBank, we use the mapping between UniProt, PDB and Pfam coordinate systems from the PDBe group, to allow us to map Pfam domains onto UniProt sequences and three-dimensional protein structures. The table below shows the structures on which the MqsA_antitoxin domain has been found. There are 19 instances of this domain found in the PDB. Note that there may be multiple copies of the domain in a single PDB structure, since many structures contain multiple copies of the same protein sequence.
Loading structure mapping...