ComEC/Rec2-related protein (IPR004477)

Short name: ComEC_N

Overlapping homologous superfamilies


Domain relationships



This family is defined to identify a pair of paralogous 3' exoribonucleases in Escherichia coli, plus the set of proteins apparently orthologous to one or the other in other eubacteria. VacB was characterised originally as required for the expression of virulence genes, but is now recognised as the exoribonuclease RNase R (Rnr). Its paralog in Escherichia coli and Haemophilus influenzae is designated exoribonuclease II (Rnb). Both are involved in the degradation of mRNA, and consequently have strong pleiotropic effects that may be difficult to disentangle. Both these proteins share domain-level similarity (RNB, S1) with a considerable number of other proteins, and full-length similarity scoring below the trusted cut off to proteins associated with various phenotypes but uncertain biochemistry; it may be that these latter proteins are also 3' exoribonucleases.

Competence is the ability of a cell to take up exogenous DNA from its environment, resulting in transformation. It is widespread among bacteria and is probably an important mechanism for the horizontal transfer of genes. DNA usually becomes available by the death and lysis of other cells. Competent bacteria use components of extracellular filaments called type 4 pili to create pores in their membranes and pull DNA through the pores into the cytoplasm. This process, including the development of competence and the expression of the uptake machinery, is regulated in response to cell-cell signalling and/or nutritional conditions [PMID: 8901420].

Contributing signatures

Signatures from InterPro member databases are used to construct an entry.