Gene Symbol: yafQ
Description: mRNA interferase toxin of toxin-antitoxin pair YafQ/DinJ
Alias: ECK0226, JW0215
Species: Escherichia coli str. K-12 substr. MG1655

Top Publications

  1. Kim Y, Wang X, Ma Q, Zhang X, Wood T. Toxin-antitoxin systems in Escherichia coli influence biofilm formation through YjgK (TabA) and fimbriae. J Bacteriol. 2009;191:1258-67 pubmed publisher
    ..to biofilm development was investigated (listed as toxin/antitoxin: MazF/MazE, RelE/RelB, ChpB, YoeB/YefM, and YafQ/DinJ)...
  2. Gerdes K, Christensen S, Løbner Olesen A. Prokaryotic toxin-antitoxin stress response loci. Nat Rev Microbiol. 2005;3:371-82 pubmed
    ..It has been proposed that toxin-antitoxin loci function in bacterial programmed cell death, but evidence now indicates that these loci provide a control mechanism that helps free-living prokaryotes cope with nutritional stress. ..
  3. Prysak M, Mozdzierz C, Cook A, Zhu L, Zhang Y, Inouye M, et al. Bacterial toxin YafQ is an endoribonuclease that associates with the ribosome and blocks translation elongation through sequence-specific and frame-dependent mRNA cleavage. Mol Microbiol. 2009;71:1071-87 pubmed publisher
    ..We determined the mode of action of the YafQ toxin of the DinJ-YafQ TA system...
  4. Gotfredsen M, Gerdes K. The Escherichia coli relBE genes belong to a new toxin-antitoxin gene family. Mol Microbiol. 1998;29:1065-76 pubmed
    ..Indirect evidence suggests that the toxicity of RelE may be related to the inhibition of protein synthesis. Based on these observations, we propose a model that explains the delayed relaxed phenotype associated with mutations in relB. ..
  5. Tsilibaris V, Maenhaut Michel G, Mine N, Van Melderen L. What is the benefit to Escherichia coli of having multiple toxin-antitoxin systems in its genome?. J Bacteriol. 2007;189:6101-8 pubmed
    ..This casts a doubt on whether TA systems significantly influence bacterial fitness and competitiveness during non-steady-state growth conditions. ..
  6. Maehigashi T, Ruangprasert A, Miles S, Dunham C. Molecular basis of ribosome recognition and mRNA hydrolysis by the E. coli YafQ toxin. Nucleic Acids Res. 2015;43:8002-12 pubmed publisher
    ..E. coli toxin YafQ is suppressed under steady state growth conditions by virtue of its interaction with its cognate antitoxin, DinJ...
  7. Motiejunaite R, Armalyte J, Markuckas A, Suziedeliene E. Escherichia coli dinJ-yafQ genes act as a toxin-antitoxin module. FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2007;268:112-9 pubmed
    ..The chromosome of Escherichia coli K-12 encodes four known TA pairs, as well as the dinJ-yafQ operon, which is hypothesized to be a TA module based on operon organization similar to known TA genes...
  8. Magnuson R. Hypothetical functions of toxin-antitoxin systems. J Bacteriol. 2007;189:6089-92 pubmed
  9. Hu Y, Kwan B, Osbourne D, Benedik M, Wood T. Toxin YafQ increases persister cell formation by reducing indole signalling. Environ Microbiol. 2015;17:1275-85 pubmed publisher
    ..systems have been postulated to be responsible for persister cell formation, we investigated the influence of toxin YafQ of the YafQ/DinJ Escherichia coli TA system on persister cell formation...

More Information


  1. Inouye M. The discovery of mRNA interferases: implication in bacterial physiology and application to biotechnology. J Cell Physiol. 2006;209:670-6 pubmed
    ..The discovery of a novel way to interfere with mRNA function by mRNA interferases opens a wide variety of avenues in basic as well as applied and clinical sciences. ..
  2. Buts L, Lah J, Dao Thi M, Wyns L, Loris R. Toxin-antitoxin modules as bacterial metabolic stress managers. Trends Biochem Sci. 2005;30:672-9 pubmed
    ..Under silent conditions the antidote inhibits the toxin and the toxin-antidote complex acts as a repressor for the TA operon, whereas under conditions of activation proteolytic degradation of the antidote outpaces its synthesis. ..
  3. Harrison J, Wade W, Akierman S, Vacchi Suzzi C, Stremick C, Turner R, et al. The chromosomal toxin gene yafQ is a determinant of multidrug tolerance for Escherichia coli growing in a biofilm. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2009;53:2253-8 pubmed publisher
    ..coli populations. In the present study, we focused on the dinJ-yafQ-encoded toxin-antitoxin system and hypothesized that deletion of the toxin gene yafQ might influence cell survival ..
  4. Kolodkin Gal I, Verdiger R, Shlosberg Fedida A, Engelberg Kulka H. A differential effect of E. coli toxin-antitoxin systems on cell death in liquid media and biofilm formation. PLoS ONE. 2009;4:e6785 pubmed publisher
    ..At the other extreme, as our results have revealed here, the TA system dinJ-YafQ is unique in that it is involved only in the death process during biofilm formation...
  5. Armalyte J, Jurenaite M, Beinoraviciute G, Teiserskas J, Suziedeliene E. Characterization of Escherichia coli dinJ-yafQ toxin-antitoxin system using insights from mutagenesis data. J Bacteriol. 2012;194:1523-32 pubmed publisher
    Escherichia coli dinJ-yafQ operon codes for a functional toxin-antitoxin (TA) system. YafQ toxin is an RNase which, upon overproduction, specifically inhibits the translation process by cleaving cellular mRNA at specific sequences...
  6. Gerdes K. Toxin-antitoxin modules may regulate synthesis of macromolecules during nutritional stress. J Bacteriol. 2000;182:561-72 pubmed
  7. Szekeres S, Dauti M, Wilde C, Mazel D, Rowe Magnus D. Chromosomal toxin-antitoxin loci can diminish large-scale genome reductions in the absence of selection. Mol Microbiol. 2007;63:1588-605 pubmed
    ..Thus, chromosomal TA loci can stabilize massive SI arrays and limit the extensive gene loss that is a hallmark of reductive evolution...
  8. Condon C. Shutdown decay of mRNA. Mol Microbiol. 2006;61:573-83 pubmed
    ..In this review, I discuss the recent developments in the rapidly expanding field of what I refer to as bacterial shutdown decay. ..