An H-NS-like stealth protein aids horizontal DNA transmission in bacteria

Marie Doyle, Maria Fookes, Al Ivens, Michael W. Mangan, John Wain, Charles J. Dorman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

171 Citations (Scopus)


The Sfh protein is encoded by self-transmissible plasmids involved in human typhoid and is closely related to the global regulator H-NS. We have found that Sfh provides a stealth function that allows the plasmids to be transmitted to new bacterial hosts with minimal effects on their fitness. Introducing the plasmid without the sfh gene imposes a mild H-NS– phenotype and a severe loss of fitness due to titration of the cellular pool of H-NS by the A+T-rich plasmid. This stealth strategy seems to be used widely to aid horizontal DNA transmission and has important implications for bacterial evolution.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-252
Number of pages2
Issue number5809
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jan 2007

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