Detection of endogenous MazF enzymatic activity in Staphylococcus aureus

Julia J. Van Rensburg, Paul J. Hergenrother

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The mazEFSa toxin-antitoxin (TA) system is ubiquitous in clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus, yet its physiological role is unclear. MazFSa is a sequence-specific endoribonuclease that inhibits the growth of S. aureus and Escherichia coli on ectopic overexpression. MazFSa preferentially cleaves RNA at UACAU sites, which are overrepresented in genes encoding pathogenicity factors. The exploitation of the inherent toxicity of MazFSa by artificial toxin activation has been proposed as an antibacterial strategy; however, enzymatic activity of endogenous MazFSa has never been detected, and tools for such analyses are lacking. Here we detail methods for detection of the ribonuclease activity of MazFSa, including a continuous fluorometric assay and a gel-based cleavage assay. Importantly, these methods allowed for the first detection of endogenous MazFSa enzymatic activity in S. aureus lysate. These robust and sensitive assays provide a toolkit for the identification, analysis, and validation of stressors that induce MazF enzymatic activity and should assist in the discovery of artificial activators of the mazEFSa TA system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-87
Number of pages7
JournalAnalytical Biochemistry
Volume443
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 8 2013

Fingerprint

Antitoxins
Staphylococcus aureus
Assays
Endoribonucleases
Gene encoding
Virulence Factors
Ribonucleases
Escherichia coli
Toxicity
Gels
Chemical activation
RNA
Growth
Genes

Keywords

  • Enzyme assay
  • MazF
  • Ribonuclease
  • Toxin-antitoxin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

Cite this

Detection of endogenous MazF enzymatic activity in Staphylococcus aureus. / Van Rensburg, Julia J.; Hergenrother, Paul J.

In: Analytical Biochemistry, Vol. 443, No. 1, 08.10.2013, p. 81-87.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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