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A bacteriophage mimic of the bacterial nucleoid-associated protein Fis

Sharples, Gary J.; Heddle, Jonathan G.; Kozak, Maciej; Taube, Michał; Hughes, Timothy R; Pålsson, Lars-Olof; Bowers, Laura Y.; Curtis, Fiona A.; Plewka, Jacek; Świątek, Sylwia; Paterson, Joy R.; Jolma, Arttu; Yang, Ally W. H.; Gittens, William H.; Trotter, Alexander J.; Balakrishnan, Dhanasekaran; Chakraborti, Soumyananda

A bacteriophage mimic of the bacterial nucleoid-associated protein Fis Thumbnail


Jonathan G. Heddle

Maciej Kozak

Michał Taube

Timothy R Hughes

Laura Y. Bowers

Fiona A. Curtis

Jacek Plewka

Sylwia Świątek

Joy Paterson
Post Doctoral Research Associate

Arttu Jolma

Ally W. H. Yang

William H. Gittens

Alexander J. Trotter

Dhanasekaran Balakrishnan

Soumyananda Chakraborti


We report the identification and characterization of a bacteriophage λ-encoded protein, NinH. Sequence homology suggests similarity between NinH and Fis, a bacterial nucleoid-associated protein involved in numerous DNA topology manipulations, including chromosome condensation, transcriptional regulation and phage site-specific recombination. We find that NinH functions as a homodimer and is able to bind and bend double-stranded DNA in vitro. Furthermore, NinH shows a preference for a 15 bp signature sequence related to the degenerate consensus favored by Fis. Structural studies reinforced the proposed similarity to Fis and supported identification of residues involved in DNA binding which were demonstrated experimentally. Overexpression of NinH proved toxic and this correlated with its capacity to associate with DNA. NinH is the first example of a phage-encoded Fis-like nucleoid-associated protein that likely influences phage excision-integration reactions or bacterial gene expression.


Sharples, G. J., Heddle, J. G., Kozak, M., Taube, M., Hughes, T. R., Pålsson, L.-O., …Chakraborti, S. (2020). A bacteriophage mimic of the bacterial nucleoid-associated protein Fis. Biochemical Journal, 477(7), 1345-1362.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 24, 2020
Online Publication Date Apr 17, 2020
Publication Date Apr 17, 2020
Deposit Date Mar 30, 2020
Publicly Available Date Apr 20, 2020
Journal Biochemical Journal
Print ISSN 0264-6021
Electronic ISSN 1470-8728
Publisher Portland Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 477
Issue 7
Pages 1345-1362
Public URL


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Copyright Statement
© 2020 The Author(s). This is an open access article published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society and distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (CC BY).

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