Summary: Bacteriocins elaborated by strains of Escherichia coli and related species. They are proteins or protein-lipopolysaccharide complexes lethal to other strains of the same species.

Top Publications

  1. Stroud R, Reiling K, Wiener M, Freymann D. Ion-channel-forming colicins. Curr Opin Struct Biol. 1998;8:525-33 pubmed
    Several features of ion-channel-forming colicins have been illuminated by recent revelations: its four-domain structure, the mechanism and thermodynamics of binding to the gating loop of outer membrane porins, the mechanism of ..
  2. Meenan N, Sharma A, Fleishman S, Macdonald C, Morel B, Boetzel R, et al. The structural and energetic basis for high selectivity in a high-affinity protein-protein interaction. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010;107:10080-5 pubmed publisher
  3. Toshima H, Yoshimura A, Arikawa K, Hidaka A, Ogasawara J, Hase A, et al. Enhancement of Shiga toxin production in enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli serotype O157:H7 by DNase colicins. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2007;73:7582-8 pubmed
    b>Colicins are proteins produced by and active against several strains of Escherichia coli...
  4. Kirkup B, Riley M. Antibiotic-mediated antagonism leads to a bacterial game of rock-paper-scissors in vivo. Nature. 2004;428:412-4 pubmed
    b>Colicins are narrow-spectrum antibiotics produced by and active against Escherichia coli and its close relatives...
  5. Walker D, Rolfe M, Thompson A, Moore G, James R, Hinton J, et al. Transcriptional profiling of colicin-induced cell death of Escherichia coli MG1655 identifies potential mechanisms by which bacteriocins promote bacterial diversity. J Bacteriol. 2004;186:866-9 pubmed
    We report the transcriptional response of Escherichia coli MG1655 to damage induced by colicins E3 and E9, bacteriocins that kill cells through inactivation of the ribosome and degradation of chromosomal DNA, respectively...
  6. Wu K, Tai P. Cys32 and His105 are the critical residues for the calcium-dependent cysteine proteolytic activity of CvaB, an ATP-binding cassette transporter. J Biol Chem. 2004;279:901-9 pubmed
  7. Kurisu G, Zakharov S, Zhalnina M, Bano S, Eroukova V, Rokitskaya T, et al. The structure of BtuB with bound colicin E3 R-domain implies a translocon. Nat Struct Biol. 2003;10:948-54 pubmed
    ..The translocator was concluded to be OmpF from the occlusion of OmpF channels by colicin E3. ..
  8. Smarda J, Smajs D, Lhotová H. Three recently acknowledged Escherichia species strikingly differ in the incidence of bacteriocinogenic and lysogenic strains. J Basic Microbiol. 2002;42:429-33 pubmed
    ..From the 6 bacteriocinogenic strains of E. fergusonii, 3 were producers of colicin E1, 2 of colicin Ib and 1 of colicin Ia. In addition, 3 E. fergusonii strains produced aerobactin...
  9. Masaki H, Ogawa T. The modes of action of colicins E5 and D, and related cytotoxic tRNases. Biochimie. 2002;84:433-8 pubmed
    b>Colicins E5 and D cleave the anticodon loops of distinct tRNAs of Escherichia coli both in vivo and in vitro, which accounts for their bactericidal actions through depletion of tRNAs and prevention of protein synthesis...

More Information


  1. Walker D, Georgiou T, Pommer A, Walker D, Moore G, Kleanthous C, et al. Mutagenic scan of the H-N-H motif of colicin E9: implications for the mechanistic enzymology of colicins, homing enzymes and apoptotic endonucleases. Nucleic Acids Res. 2002;30:3225-34 pubmed
  2. van den Bremer E, Jiskoot W, James R, Moore G, Kleanthous C, Heck A, et al. Probing metal ion binding and conformational properties of the colicin E9 endonuclease by electrospray ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Protein Sci. 2002;11:1738-52 pubmed
    ..In addition, our metal ion binding studies and gas-phase dissociation experiments of the ternary E9 DNase-Zn(2+)-Im9 complex have provided further evidence that electrostatic interactions govern the gas phase ion stability. ..
  3. Kuhar I, Zgur Bertok D. Transcription regulation of the colicin K cka gene reveals induction of colicin synthesis by differential responses to environmental signals. J Bacteriol. 1999;181:7373-80 pubmed
    ..These results indicate that while different colicins are expressed in response to some common signals such as nutrient depletion, the expression of individual ..
  4. Smarda J, Obdrzálek V. Incidence of colicinogenic strains among human Escherichia coli. J Basic Microbiol. 2001;41:367-74 pubmed
    ..In control persons (with healthy colons), 41.37% producers of colicins were found...
  5. Journet L, Bouveret E, Rigal A, Lloubes R, Lazdunski C, Benedetti H. Import of colicins across the outer membrane of Escherichia coli involves multiple protein interactions in the periplasm. Mol Microbiol. 2001;42:331-44 pubmed
    ..This interaction is specific to colicins dependent on TolR for their translocation, strongly suggesting a direct involvement of the interaction in the ..
  6. Shen B, Landthaler M, Shub D, Stoddard B. DNA binding and cleavage by the HNH homing endonuclease I-HmuI. J Mol Biol. 2004;342:43-56 pubmed
    ..surface found in the I-PpoI homing endonuclease and an associated HNH/N active site found in the bacterial colicins, and a C-terminal DNA-binding domain previously observed in the I-TevI homing endonuclease...
  7. Chumchalova J, Smarda J. Human tumor cells are selectively inhibited by colicins. Folia Microbiol (Praha). 2003;48:111-5 pubmed
    The activity in vitro of four types of colicins (A, E1, E3, U) against one human standard fibroblast line and against 11 human tumor-cell lines carrying defined mutations of the p53 gene was quantified by MTT (tetrazolium bromide) assay...
  8. Walker D, Moore G, James R, Kleanthous C. Thermodynamic consequences of bipartite immunity protein binding to the ribosomal ribonuclease colicin E3. Biochemistry. 2003;42:4161-71 pubmed
    ..These observations suggest a mechanism whereby dissociation of the immunity protein prior to translocation into the target cell is facilitated by the loss of the Im3-translocation domain interaction. ..
  9. Lin Y, Elias Y, Huang R. Structural and mutational studies of the catalytic domain of colicin E5: a tRNA-specific ribonuclease. Biochemistry. 2005;44:10494-500 pubmed
    ..The structure, together with the mutational study, allows us to propose a model of colicin E5-tRNA interactions, suggesting the molecular basis of tRNA substrate recognition and the mechanism of tRNA cleavage by colicin E5. ..
  10. Cheng Y, Shi Z, Doudeva L, Yang W, Chak K, Yuan H. High-resolution crystal structure of a truncated ColE7 translocation domain: implications for colicin transport across membranes. J Mol Biol. 2006;356:22-31 pubmed
    ..ColE7 is classified as one of the group A colicins, since the N-terminal translocation domain (T-domain) of the nuclease-type colicins interact with specific ..
  11. Liao C, Hsiao K, Liu Y, Leng P, Yuen H, Chak K. Processing of DNase domain during translocation of colicin E7 across the membrane of Escherichia coli. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2001;284:556-62 pubmed
    ..These results suggest that the processing of ColE7 has occurred for translocation of the DNase-type colicin across the membrane and the process is probably taking place in the periplasmic space of the membrane. ..
  12. Lazzaroni J, Dubuisson J, Vianney A. The Tol proteins of Escherichia coli and their involvement in the translocation of group A colicins. Biochimie. 2002;84:391-7 pubmed
    ..The Tol proteins have been parasitized by group A colicins for their translocation through the cell envelope...
  13. Rijavec M, Budic M, Mrak P, M ller Premru M, Podlesek Z, Zgur Bertok D. Prevalence of ColE1-like plasmids and colicin K production among uropathogenic Escherichia coli strains and quantification of inhibitory activity of colicin K. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2007;73:1029-32 pubmed publisher
    ..Sequencing of the colicin K-encoding pColK-K235 revealed a mosaic structure and the presence of the insertion sequence IS2...
  14. Riley M, Wertz J. Bacteriocins: evolution, ecology, and application. Annu Rev Microbiol. 2002;56:117-37 pubmed
    ..In the latter half of this review we focus on the potential role bacteriocins may play in addressing human health concerns and the current role they serve in food preservation. ..
  15. Helbig S, Hantke K, Ammelburg M, Braun V. CbrA is a flavin adenine dinucleotide protein that modifies the Escherichia coli outer membrane and confers specific resistance to Colicin M. J Bacteriol. 2012;194:4894-903 pubmed publisher
    ..The next homologs with the highest identity (over 50%) are found in the anaerobic Clostridium botulinum group 1 and a few other Firmicutes...
  16. Wong S, Baron R, McCammon J. Hot-spot residues at the E9/Im9 interface help binding via different mechanisms. Biopolymers. 2008;89:916-20 pubmed publisher
    ..This type of model may be helpful in engineering hot-spot clusters at protein-protein interfaces and, consequently, the design of specificity. ..
  17. Patton B, Lonergan S, Cutler S, Stahl C, Dickson J. Application of colicin E1 as a prefabrication intervention strategy. J Food Prot. 2008;71:2519-22 pubmed
    ..coli O157:H7 compared with the untreated control during the entire study. ColE1 provided powerful reduction of E. coli O157:H7 as a beef carcass spray intervention. ..
  18. Deprez C, Blanchard L, Guerlesquin F, Gavioli M, Simorre J, Lazdunski C, et al. Macromolecular import into Escherichia coli: the TolA C-terminal domain changes conformation when interacting with the colicin A toxin. Biochemistry. 2002;41:2589-98 pubmed
    ..It was shown that the TolA, TolQ, and TolR proteins play a critical role in the translocation of group A colicins and filamentous bacteriophage minor coat proteins (g3p)...
  19. Sharma O, Cramer W. Minimum length requirement of the flexible N-terminal translocation subdomain of colicin E3. J Bacteriol. 2007;189:363-8 pubmed
  20. Sobko A, Kotova E, Antonenko Y, Zakharov S, Cramer W. Lipid dependence of the channel properties of a colicin E1-lipid toroidal pore. J Biol Chem. 2006;281:14408-16 pubmed
  21. Huang H, Yuan H. The conserved asparagine in the HNH motif serves an important structural role in metal finger endonucleases. J Mol Biol. 2007;368:812-21 pubmed
  22. Gordon D, Riley M. A theoretical and empirical investigation of the invasion dynamics of colicinogeny. Microbiology. 1999;145 ( Pt 3):655-61 pubmed
    ..These results suggest that the characteristics of different colicinogenic strains cannot be used to explain the extensive variation in the relative abundance of different colicins in natural populations of bacteria.
  23. Pommer A, Wallis R, Moore G, James R, Kleanthous C. Enzymological characterization of the nuclease domain from the bacterial toxin colicin E9 from Escherichia coli. Biochem J. 1998;334 ( Pt 2):387-92 pubmed
  24. Ng C, Lang K, Meenan N, Sharma A, Kelley A, Kleanthous C, et al. Structural basis for 16S ribosomal RNA cleavage by the cytotoxic domain of colicin E3. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2010;17:1241-1246 pubmed publisher
    ..These residues activate the 16S rRNA for 2' OH-induced hydrolysis. Conformational changes observed for E3-rRNase, 16S rRNA and helix 69 of 23S rRNA suggest that a dynamic binding platform is required for colicin E3 binding and function. ..
  25. Patzer S, Baquero M, Bravo D, Moreno F, Hantke K. The colicin G, H and X determinants encode microcins M and H47, which might utilize the catecholate siderophore receptors FepA, Cir, Fiu and IroN. Microbiology. 2003;149:2557-70 pubmed
    ..These microcins could aid the producing strain in competing against enterobacteria that utilize catecholate siderophores. ..
  26. Anderluh G, Hong Q, Boetzel R, MacDonald C, Moore G, Virden R, et al. Concerted folding and binding of a flexible colicin domain to its periplasmic receptor TolA. J Biol Chem. 2003;278:21860-8 pubmed
    ..Such domains are common features of all colicins and are required for their translocation across the outer membrane of the target Escherichia coli cell...
  27. Chauleau M, Mora L, Serba J, de Zamaroczy M. FtsH-dependent processing of RNase colicins D and E3 means that only the cytotoxic domains are imported into the cytoplasm. J Biol Chem. 2011;286:29397-407 pubmed publisher
    It has long been suggested that the import of nuclease colicins requires protein processing; however it had never been formally demonstrated...
  28. Kolade O, Carr S, Kuhlmann U, Pommer A, Kleanthous C, Bouchcinsky C, et al. Structural aspects of the inhibition of DNase and rRNase colicins by their immunity proteins. Biochimie. 2002;84:439-46 pubmed
    Nuclease E colicins that exert their cytotoxic activity through either non-specific DNase or specific rRNase action are inhibited by immunity proteins in a high affinity interaction that gives complete protection to the producing host ..
  29. Zakharov S, Cramer W. Insertion intermediates of pore-forming colicins in membrane two-dimensional space. Biochimie. 2002;84:465-75 pubmed
    ..voltage-gated ion channels by the initially soluble C-terminal channel polypeptide (CP) of the pore-forming colicins is a fruitful area for studies on membrane protein import...
  30. Barreteau H, Bouhss A, Fourgeaud M, Mainardi J, Touze T, Gérard F, et al. Human- and plant-pathogenic Pseudomonas species produce bacteriocins exhibiting colicin M-like hydrolase activity towards peptidoglycan precursors. J Bacteriol. 2009;191:3657-64 pubmed publisher
    ..aeruginosa strains. These proteins thus represent a new class of bacteriocins (pyocins), the first ones reported thus far in the genus Pseudomonas that target peptidoglycan metabolism. ..
  31. Walburger A, Lazdunski C, Corda Y. The Tol/Pal system function requires an interaction between the C-terminal domain of TolA and the N-terminal domain of TolB. Mol Microbiol. 2002;44:695-708 pubmed
    ..It is involved in maintaining the integrity of the outer membrane, and is required for the uptake of group A colicins and DNA of filamentous bacteriophages...
  32. Buchanan S, Lukacik P, Grizot S, Ghirlando R, Ali M, Barnard T, et al. Structure of colicin I receptor bound to the R-domain of colicin Ia: implications for protein import. EMBO J. 2007;26:2594-604 pubmed
    ..Functional data using full-length colicin Ia show that colicin I receptor is necessary for cell surface binding, and suggest that the receptor participates in translocation of colicin Ia across the outer membrane. ..
  33. Duché D. Colicin E2 is still in contact with its receptor and import machinery when its nuclease domain enters the cytoplasm. J Bacteriol. 2007;189:4217-22 pubmed
    b>Colicins reach their targets in susceptible Escherichia coli strains through two envelope protein systems: the Tol system is used by group A colicins and the TonB system by group B colicins...
  34. Schamberger G, Diez Gonzalez F. Selection of recently isolated colicinogenic Escherichia coli strains inhibitory to Escherichia coli O157:H7. J Food Prot. 2002;65:1381-7 pubmed
    ..coli O157:H7. An initial evaluation of 18 strains carrying previously characterized colicins determined that only colicin E7 inhibited all of the E. coli O157:H7 strains tested...
  35. Bonsor D, Hecht O, Vankemmelbeke M, Sharma A, Krachler A, Housden N, et al. Allosteric beta-propeller signalling in TolB and its manipulation by translocating colicins. EMBO J. 2009;28:2846-57 pubmed publisher
    The Tol system is a five-protein assembly parasitized by colicins and bacteriophages that helps stabilize the Gram-negative outer membrane (OM)...
  36. Mulec J, Podlesek Z, Mrak P, Kopitar A, Ihan A, Zgur Bertok D. A cka-gfp transcriptional fusion reveals that the colicin K activity gene is induced in only 3 percent of the population. J Bacteriol. 2003;185:654-9 pubmed
    ..Expression of the cka-gfp fusion in a lexA-defective strain and in a relA spoT mutant strain indicates that differential expression of cka is established primarily at the level of transcription. ..
  37. Rodriguez Mendieta I, Spence G, Gell C, Radford S, Smith D. Ultraviolet resonance Raman studies reveal the environment of tryptophan and tyrosine residues in the native and partially folded states of the E colicin-binding immunity protein Im7. Biochemistry. 2005;44:3306-15 pubmed
    ..We corroborated this observation using tryptophan-containing model compounds and conclude that the conventional interpretation of this UVRR feature at these wavelengths is unreliable. ..
  38. Journet L, Rigal A, Lazdunski C, Benedetti H. Role of TolR N-terminal, central, and C-terminal domains in dimerization and interaction with TolA and tolQ. J Bacteriol. 1999;181:4476-84 pubmed
    ..a multiprotein system involved in maintaining the cell envelope integrity and is necessary for the import of some colicins and phage DNA into the bacterium...
  39. Zakharov S, Zhalnina M, Sharma O, Cramer W. The colicin E3 outer membrane translocon: immunity protein release allows interaction of the cytotoxic domain with OmpF porin. Biochemistry. 2006;45:10199-207 pubmed
  40. Walker D, Lancaster L, James R, Kleanthous C. Identification of the catalytic motif of the microbial ribosome inactivating cytotoxin colicin E3. Protein Sci. 2004;13:1603-11 pubmed
    ..We have performed extensive mutagenesis of the 96-residue colicin E3 cytotoxic domain (E3 rRNase), assayed mutant colicins for in vivo cytotoxicity, and tested the corresponding E3 rRNase domains for their ability to inactivate ribosome ..
  41. Christenson J, Gordon D. Evolution of colicin BM plasmids: the loss of the colicin B activity gene. Microbiology. 2009;155:1645-55 pubmed publisher
    b>Colicins, a class of antimicrobial compounds produced by bacteria, are thought to be important mediators of intra- and interspecific interactions, and are a significant factor in maintaining microbial diversity...
  42. Kienker P, Jakes K, Finkelstein A. Protein translocation across planar bilayers by the colicin Ia channel-forming domain: where will it end?. J Gen Physiol. 2000;116:587-98 pubmed
  43. Barreteau H, Bouhss A, Gérard F, Duché D, Boussaid B, Blanot D, et al. Deciphering the catalytic domain of colicin M, a peptidoglycan lipid II-degrading enzyme. J Biol Chem. 2010;285:12378-89 pubmed publisher
    ..Most of these residues are surface-exposed and located relatively close to each other, hence suggesting they belong to the colicin M active site. ..
  44. Clifton L, Johnson C, Solovyova A, Callow P, Weiss K, Ridley H, et al. Low resolution structure and dynamics of a colicin-receptor complex determined by neutron scattering. J Biol Chem. 2012;287:337-46 pubmed publisher
    ..This revealed that colicin N unfolds and binds to the OmpF-lipid interface. The implications of this unfolding step for colicin translocation across membranes are discussed. ..
  45. Ku W, Liu Y, Hsu Y, Liao C, Liang P, Yuan H, et al. The zinc ion in the HNH motif of the endonuclease domain of colicin E7 is not required for DNA binding but is essential for DNA hydrolysis. Nucleic Acids Res. 2002;30:1670-8 pubmed
  46. Pan Y, Liao C, Kuo C, Duan K, Liang P, Yuan H, et al. The critical roles of polyamines in regulating ColE7 production and restricting ColE7 uptake of the colicin-producing Escherichia coli. J Biol Chem. 2006;281:13083-91 pubmed
    ..coli under stress conditions in the natural environment. ..
  47. Hilsenbeck J, Park H, Chen G, Youn B, Postle K, Kang C. Crystal structure of the cytotoxic bacterial protein colicin B at 2.5 A resolution. Mol Microbiol. 2004;51:711-20 pubmed composed of 10 alpha-helices arranged in a bundle-type structure, similar to the pore-forming domains of other colicins. The TonB box sequence at the N-terminus folds back to interact with the N-terminal lobe of the dumbbell and ..
  48. James R, Penfold C, Moore G, Kleanthous C. Killing of E coli cells by E group nuclease colicins. Biochimie. 2002;84:381-9 pubmed
    ..In this review, we consider our current understanding of the key events in this process, concentrating on recent findings concerning receptor-binding, translocation and the mechanism of cytotoxicity. ..
  49. Mosbahi K, Lemaître C, Keeble A, Mobasheri H, Morel B, James R, et al. The cytotoxic domain of colicin E9 is a channel-forming endonuclease. Nat Struct Biol. 2002;9:476-84 pubmed
    ..Our data suggest that endonuclease domains of colicins may mediate their own translocation across the bacterial inner membrane through an intrinsic channel activity ..
  50. Walker D, Mosbahi K, Vankemmelbeke M, James R, Kleanthous C. The role of electrostatics in colicin nuclease domain translocation into bacterial cells. J Biol Chem. 2007;282:31389-97 pubmed
    The mechanism(s) by which nuclease colicins translocate distinct cytotoxic enzymes (DNases, rRNases, and tRNases) to the cytoplasm of Escherichia coli is unknown...
  51. Stahl C, Callaway T, Lincoln L, Lonergan S, Genovese K. Inhibitory activities of colicins against Escherichia coli strains responsible for postweaning diarrhea and edema disease in swine. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2004;48:3119-21 pubmed
    The efficacies of colicins E1 and N against Escherichia coli strains responsible for postweaning diarrhea and edema disease, two of the most prevalent disease problems for pigs in the United States, were determined in vitro...
  52. Smajs D, Weinstock G. Genetic organization of plasmid ColJs, encoding colicin Js activity, immunity, and release genes. J Bacteriol. 2001;183:3949-57 pubmed publisher
    ..Colicin Js was purified as an inactive fusion protein with an N-terminal histidine tag. Activity of the purified fusion form of colicin Js was restored after cleavage of the amino acids fused to the colicin Js N terminus...
  53. Jordi B, Boutaga K, van Heeswijk C, van Knapen F, Lipman L. Sensitivity of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains for colicins under different experimental conditions. FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2001;204:329-34 pubmed
    Twenty Escherichia coli strains producing well-characterised colicins were tested for their inhibitory activity against five Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) strains using different media under aerobic and anaerobic conditions...