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FEMS Microbiology Reviews

Mark J Buttner, Martin Schäfer, David M Lawson, Anthony Maxwell
Simocyclinones are antibiotics produced by Streptomyces and Kitasatospora species that inhibit the validated drug target DNA gyrase in a unique way, and they are thus of therapeutic interest. Structural approaches have revealed their mode of action, the inducible-efflux mechanism in the producing organism, and given insight into one step in their biosynthesis. The crystal structures of simocyclinones bound to their target (gyrase), the transcriptional repressor SimR, and the biosynthetic enzyme SimC7 reveal fascinating insight into how molecular recognition is achieved with these three unrelated proteins...
November 8, 2017: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Kristina Klobucar, Eric D Brown
Different conditions and genomic contexts are known to have an impact on gene essentiality and interactions. Synthetic lethal interactions occur when a combination of perturbations, either genetic or chemical, result in a more profound fitness defect than expected based on the effect of each perturbation alone. Synthetic lethality in bacterial systems has long been studied, however during the past decade, the emerging fields of genomics and chemical genomics have led to an increase in the scale and throughput of these studies...
October 24, 2017: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Johan Bengtsson-Palme, Erik Kristiansson, D G Joakim Larsson
Antibiotic resistance and its wider implications present us with a growing healthcare crisis. Recent research points to the environment as an important component for the transmission of resistant bacteria and in the emergence of resistant pathogens. However, a deeper understanding of the evolutionary and ecological processes that lead to clinical appearance of resistance genes is still lacking, as is knowledge of environmental dispersal barriers. This calls for better models of how resistance genes evolve, are mobilized, transferred and disseminated in the environment...
October 24, 2017: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Miguel A Matilla, Tino Krell
Chemotaxis enables microorganisms to move according to chemical gradients. Although this process requires substantial cellular energy, it also affords key physiological benefits, including enhanced access to growth substrates. Another important implication of chemotaxis is that it also plays an important role in infection and disease, as chemotaxis signaling pathways are broadly distributed across a variety of pathogenic bacteria. Furthermore, current research indicates that chemotaxis is essential for the initial stages of infection in different human, animal and plant pathogens...
October 24, 2017: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Franziska Gerwien, Volha Skrahina, Lydia Kasper, Bernhard Hube, Sascha Brunke
Metals are essential for life, and they play a central role in the struggle between infecting microbes and their hosts. In fact, an important aspect of microbial pathogenesis is the 'nutritional immunity', in which metals are actively restricted (or, in an extended definition of the term, locally enriched) by the host to hinder microbial growth and virulence.
October 23, 2017: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Jürgen J Heinisch, Rosaura Rodicio
Human protein kinase C (PKC) isoforms have been implicated in diseases such as Alzheimer's, diabetes, and cancers. In contrast to mammals, which have at least 9 genes, fungi have only one or two. The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae produces only a single Pkc1 and is employed in the study of specific human isozymes, including their susceptibility to pharmacological drugs. Vice versa , the domain structure and regulation of yeast and other fungal PKCs yield insights into the function of human isozymes. Therefore, human PKCs are briefly reviewed herein and related to the yeast enzyme...
October 23, 2017: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Fernando Baquero
Transmission is a basic process in biology and evolution, as it communicates different biological entities within and across hierarchical levels (from genes to holobionts) both in time and space. Vertical descent, replication, is transmission of information across generations (in the time dimension), and horizontal descent is transmission of information across compartments (in the space dimension). Transmission is essentially a communication process that can be studied by analogy of the classic information theory, based on 'emitters', 'messages' and 'receivers'...
November 1, 2017: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Grzegorz Janusz, Anna Pawlik, Justyna Sulej, Urszula Swiderska-Burek, Anna Jarosz-Wilkolazka, Andrzej Paszczynski
Extensive research efforts have been dedicated to describing degradation of wood, which is a complex process; hence, microorganisms have evolved different enzymatic and non-enzymatic strategies to utilize this plentiful plant material. This review describes a number of fungal and bacterial organisms which have developed both competitive and mutualistic strategies for the decomposition of wood and to thrive in different ecological niches. Through the analysis of the enzymatic machinery engaged in wood degradation, it was possible to elucidate different strategies of wood decomposition which often depend on ecological niches inhabited by given organism...
November 1, 2017: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Heledd M Davies, Stephanie D Nofal, Emilia J McLaughlin, Andrew R Osborne
Five species of parasite cause malaria in humans with the most severe disease caused by Plasmodium falciparum. Many of the proteins encoded in the P. falciparum genome are unusually enriched in repetitive low-complexity sequences containing a limited repertoire of amino acids. These repetitive sequences expand and contract dynamically and are among the most rapidly changing sequences in the genome. The simplest repetitive sequences consist of single amino acid repeats such as poly-asparagine tracts that are found in approximately 25% of P...
November 1, 2017: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Annegret Wilde, Conrad W Mullineaux
The natural light environment is important to many prokaryotes. Most obviously, phototrophic prokaryotes need to acclimate their photosynthetic apparatus to the prevailing light conditions, and such acclimation is frequently complemented by motility to enable cells to relocate in search of more favorable illumination conditions. Non-phototrophic prokaryotes may also seek to avoid light at damaging intensities and wavelengths, and many prokaryotes with diverse lifestyles could potentially exploit light signals as a rich source of information about their surroundings and a cue for acclimation and behavior...
November 1, 2017: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Ramyavardhanee Chandrasekaran, D Borden Lacy
Clostridium difficile is a bacterial pathogen that is the leading cause of nosocomial antibiotic-associated diarrhea and pseudomembranous colitis worldwide. The incidence, severity, mortality and healthcare costs associated with C. difficile infection (CDI) are rising, making C. difficile a major threat to public health. Traditional treatments for CDI involve use of antibiotics such as metronidazole and vancomycin, but disease recurrence occurs in about 30% of patients, highlighting the need for new therapies...
November 1, 2017: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Katrin Rosenthal, Verena Oehling, Christian Dusny, Andreas Schmid
Microbial single cell analysis has led to discoveries that are beyond what can be resolved with population-based studies. It provides a pristine view of the mechanisms that organize cellular physiology, unbiased by population heterogeneity or uncontrollable environmental impacts. A holistic description of cellular functions at the single cell level requires analytical concepts beyond the miniaturization of existing technologies, defined but uncontrolled by the biological system itself. This review provides an overview of the latest advances in single cell technologies and demonstrates their potential...
November 1, 2017: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Ditte Høyer Engholm, Mogens Kilian, David S Goodsell, Ebbe Sloth Andersen, Rikke Schmidt Kjærgaard
Being the principal causative agent of bacterial pneumonia, otitis media, meningitis and septicemia, the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae is a major global health problem. To highlight the molecular basis of this problem, we have portrayed essential biological processes of the pneumococcal life cycle in eight watercolor paintings. The paintings are done to a consistent nanometer scale based on currently available data from structural biology and proteomics. In this review article, the paintings are used to provide a visual review of protein synthesis, carbohydrate metabolism, cell wall synthesis, cell division, teichoic acid synthesis, virulence, transformation and pilus synthesis based on the available scientific literature within the field of pneumococcal biology...
November 1, 2017: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Carlos Juan, Gabriel Torrens, Mar González-Nicolau, Antonio Oliver
This review deeply addresses for the first time the diversity, regulation and mechanisms leading to mutational overexpression of intrinsic β-lactamases from non-fermenting and other non-Enterobacteriaceae Gram-negative opportunistic pathogens. After a general overview of the intrinsic β-lactamases described so far in these microorganisms, including circa. 60 species and 100 different enzymes, we review the wide array of regulatory pathways of these β-lactamases. They include diverse LysR-type regulators, which control the expression of β-lactamases from relevant nosocomial pathogens such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa or Stenothrophomonas maltophilia or two-component regulators, with special relevance in Aeromonas spp...
November 1, 2017: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Marek Cyrklaff, Friedrich Frischknecht, Mikhail Kudryashev
In recent years, novel imaging approaches revolutionised our understanding of the cellular and molecular biology of microorganisms. These include advances in fluorescent probes, dynamic live cell imaging, superresolution light and electron microscopy. Currently, a major transition in the experimental approach shifts electron microscopy studies from a complementary technique to a method of choice for structural and functional analysis. Here we review functional insights into the molecular architecture of viruses, bacteria and parasites as well as interactions with their respective host cells gained from studies using cryogenic electron tomography and related methodologies...
November 1, 2017: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Nils Meyer, Arite Bigalke, Anett Kaulfuß, Georg Pohnert
In both freshwater and marine ecosystems, phytoplankton are the most dominant primary producers, contributing substantially to aquatic food webs. Algicidal bacteria that can associate to microalgae from the phytoplankton have the capability to control the proliferation and even to lyse them. These bacteria thus play an important role in shaping species composition in pelagic environments. In this review, we discuss and categorise strategies used by algicidal bacteria for the attack on microalgae. We highlight the complex regulation of algicidal activity and defence responses that govern alga-bacteria interactions...
November 1, 2017: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Brice Felden, Luc Paillard
The discovery that all living entities express many RNAs beyond mRNAs, tRNAs and rRNAs has been a surprise in the past two decades. In fact, regulatory RNAs (regRNAs) are plentiful, and we report stunning parallels between their mechanisms and functions in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. For instance, prokaryotic CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) defense systems are functional analogs to eukaryotic RNA interference processes that preserve the cell against foreign nucleic acid elements...
September 1, 2017: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Sylvie Chevalier, Emeline Bouffartigues, Josselin Bodilis, Olivier Maillot, Olivier Lesouhaitier, Marc G J Feuilloley, Nicole Orange, Alain Dufour, Pierre Cornelis
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a Gram-negative bacterium belonging to the γ-proteobacteria. Like other members of the Pseudomonas genus, it is known for its metabolic versatility and its ability to colonize a wide range of ecological niches, such as rhizosphere, water environments and animal hosts, including humans where it can cause severe infections. Another particularity of P. aeruginosa is its high intrinsic resistance to antiseptics and antibiotics, which is partly due to its low outer membrane permeability...
September 1, 2017: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Cedric Blötz, Jörg Stülke
Glycerol and glycerol-containing compounds such as lipids belong to the most abundant organic compounds that may serve as nutrient for many bacteria. For the cell wall-less bacteria of the genus Mycoplasma, glycerol derived from phospholipids of their human or animal hosts is the major source of carbon and energy. The lipids are first degraded by lipases, and the resulting glycerophosphodiesters are transported into the cell and cleaved to release glycerol-3-phosphate. Alternatively, free glycerol can be transported, and then become phosphorylated...
September 1, 2017: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Pavel Dibrov, Elena Dibrov, Grant N Pierce
The recent breakthrough in structural studies on Na+-translocating NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase (Na+-NQR) from the human pathogen Vibrio cholerae creates a perspective for the systematic design of inhibitors for this unique enzyme, which is the major Na+ pump in aerobic pathogens. Widespread distribution of Na+-NQR among pathogenic species, its key role in energy metabolism, its relation to virulence in different species as well as its absence in eukaryotic cells makes this enzyme especially attractive as a target for prospective antibiotics...
September 1, 2017: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
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