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References Suggestions


Standard Name


Gene Synonym(s)

mqsA, ygiT[1], ECK3012, b3021, mqsA, JW2989[2], JW2989, ygiT

Product Desc.

predicted DNA-binding transcriptional regulator[3][4]

Antitoxin for MqsR toxin[1]

Product Synonyms(s)

predicted DNA-binding transcriptional regulator[2], B3021[3][2], MqsA[3][2] , ECK3012, JW2989, ygiT, b3021

Function from GO

<GO_nr />

Knock-Out Phenotype

transcription unit(s): mqsA[3]

Quick Links


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Antitoxin MqsA binds DNA via its helix-turn-helix in its C-terminal domain[1]. Unlike most TA pairs including RelE/RelB, YoeB/YefM and MazF/MazE, the MqsR toxin gene precedes the antitoxin gene in the bicistronic operon[1]. The MqsR/MqsA TA pair is unique in that (i) the antitoxin is larger than the toxin, (ii) both toxin and antitoxin are basic (typically the toxin is basic while the antitoxin is acidic), (iii) the mqsRA sequences are not homologous to any member of a recognized TA system, (iv) the antitoxin binds the toxin at its amino terminus and requires a metal, zinc, for structural stability, (v) the antitoxin is structured throughout its entire sequence, and (vi) the antitoxin binds more than its own promoter (e.g., mqsRA, mcbR, and spy) via its C-terminal domain[1] which implies it regulates more than its own transcription. MqsR cleaves mRNA at GCU sites [5]. Toxin MsqR could be cloned in an ara vector unless antitoxin MqsA is upreguated (Shah, 2006). MqsA is predicted to also be a transcriptional regulator.[6]


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  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Brown, BL et al. (2009) Three dimensional structure of the MqsR:MqsA complex: a novel TA pair comprised of a toxin homologous to RelE and an antitoxin with unique properties. PLoS Pathog. 5 e1000706 PubMed
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Riley, M. et al. (2006) Nucleic Acids Res 34:1-6 (corrected supplemental data from B. Wanner)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 EcoCyc (release 10.6; 2007) Keseler, IM et al. (2005) Nucleic Acids Res. 33(Database issue):D334-7
  4. EcoCyc (release 11.1; 2007) Keseler, IM et al. (2005) Nucleic Acids Res. 33(Database issue):D334-7
  5. Yamaguchi, Y et al. (2009) MqsR, a crucial regulator for quorum sensing and biofilm formation, is a GCU-specific mRNA interferase in Escherichia coli. J. Biol. Chem. 284 28746-53 PubMed
  6. EcoGene: Rudd, KE (2000) EcoGene: a genome sequence database for Escherichia coli K-12. Nucleic Acids Res 28:60-4.