Distribution and function of toxin-antitoxin systems in pathogenic

Escherichia coli, Na Kyeong Ha, Eunna Choi, Eun Jin Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Toxin-antitoxin (TA) system is a genetic module that includes two genes encoding a toxin and its cognate antitoxin respectively. Toxins arrest bacterial growth by inhibiting multiple cellular processes including replication, transcription, and translation, and antitoxins neutralize the toxicity of cognate toxins. Recent genomic and bioinformatics studies have discovered many toxin-antitoxin systems, some of which are involved in bacterial virulence. As Escherichia coli has been recognized its contribution to studying the ecosystem and public health, its pathovar strains have also received attention in the molecular research. The purpose of this review is to summarize the distribution of TA system in pathogenic and non-pathogenic strain of E. coli. Uropathogenic E. coli strain CFT073, adherent-invasive E. coli strain NRG857c, and non-pathogenic E. coli strain K-12 substr. MG1655 were selected for the comparison of TA system's distribution and function. Through analysis, we found that only the type II TA system of the three E. coli strains showed a significant difference in terms of distribution. Thus, 17 type II system of CFT073, 14 type II TA system of NRG857c, and 14 type II system of K-12 substr. MG1655 were discussed further in this review.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalKorean Journal of Microbiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning [NRF-2019R1A2C2003460 and NRF-2020M3A9H5104235 to E.-J.L. and NRF-2018R1D1A1B07043844 to E.C.] and a grant from Korea University.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021. All Rights Reserved.


  • adherent-invasive Escherichia coli (AIEC)
  • endoribonucleases
  • pathogenic Escherichia coli
  • toxinantitoxin system
  • uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology


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