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Promiscuous restriction is a cellular defense strategy that confers fitness advantage to bacteria

Vasu, Kommireddy and Nagamalleswari, Easa and Nagaraja, Valakunja (2012) Promiscuous restriction is a cellular defense strategy that confers fitness advantage to bacteria. In: PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 109 (20). E1287-E1293.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1119226109


Most bacterial genomes harbor restriction-modification systems, encoding a REase and its cognate MTase. On attack by a foreign DNA, the REase recognizes it as nonself and subjects it to restriction. Should REases be highly specific for targeting the invading foreign DNA? It is often considered to be the case. However, when bacteria harboring a promiscuous or high-fidelity variant of the REase were challenged with bacteriophages, fitness was maximal under conditions of catalytic promiscuity. We also delineate possible mechanisms by which the REase recognizes the chromosome as self at the noncanonical sites, thereby preventing lethal dsDNA breaks. This study provides a fundamental understanding of how bacteria exploit an existing defense system to gain fitness advantage during a host-parasite coevolutionary ``arms race.''

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: copyright for this article belongs to PNAS
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Microbiology & Cell Biology
Depositing User: Id for Latest eprints
Date Deposited: 18 Jul 2012 11:47
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2012 11:47
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/44654

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