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FEMS Microbiology Reviews

Francesca Micoli, Paolo Costantino, Roberto Adamo
Cell surface carbohydrates have been proven optimal targets for vaccine development. Conjugation of polysaccharides to a carrier protein triggers a T-cell dependent immune response to the glycan moiety. Licensed glycoconjugate vaccines are produced by chemical conjugation of capsular polysaccharides to prevent meningitis caused by meningococcus, pneumococcus and Haemophilus influenzae type b. However, other classes of carbohydrates (O-antigens, exopolysaccharides, wall/teichoic acids) represent attractive targets for developing vaccines...
March 14, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Carolina Agop-Nersesian, Livia Niklaus, Rahel Wacker, Volker Heussler
Recent years have witnessed a great gain in knowledge regarding parasite-host cell interactions during Plasmodium liver stage development. It is now an accepted fact that a large percentage of sporozoite invading a hepatocyte fail to form infectious merozoites. There appears to be a delicate balance between parasite survival and elimination and we now start to understand why this is so. Plasmodium liver stages replicate within the parasitophorous vacuole (PV), formed during invasion by invagination of the host cell plasma membrane...
February 26, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Nina Gunde-Cimerman, Ana Plemenitaš, Aharon Oren
Hypersaline environments with salt concentrations up to NaCl saturation are inhabited by a great diversity of microorganisms belonging to the three domains of life. They all must cope with the low water activity of their environment, but different strategies exist to provide osmotic balance of the cells' cytoplasm with the salinity of the medium. One option used by many halophilic Archaea and a few representatives of the Bacteria is to accumulate salts, mainly KCl and to adapt the entire intracellular machinery to function in the presence of molar concentrations of salts...
February 26, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
A Deveau, G Bonito, J Uehling, M Paoletti, M Becker, S Bindschedler, S Hacquard, V Hervé, J Labbé, O A Lastovetsky, S Mieszkin, L J Millet, B Vajna, P Junier, P Bonfante, B P Krom, S Olsson, J D van Elsas, L Y Wick
Fungi and bacteria are found living together in a wide variety of environments. Their interactions are significant drivers of many ecosystem functions and are important for the health of plants and animals. A large number of fungal and bacterial families are engaged in complex interactions that lead to critical behavioural shifts of the microorganisms ranging from mutualism to pathogenicity. The importance of bacterial-fungal interactions (BFI) in environmental science, medicine and biotechnology has led to the emergence of a dynamic and multidisciplinary research field that combines highly diverse approaches including molecular biology, genomics, geochemistry, chemical and microbial ecology, biophysics and ecological modelling...
February 19, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Stefan Geisen, Edward A D Mitchell, Sina Adl, Michael Bonkowski, Micah Dunthorn, Flemming Ekelund, Leonardo D Fernández, Alexandre Jousset, Valentyna Krashevska, David Singer, Frederick W Spiegel, Julia Walochnik, Enrique Lara
Protists include all eukaryotes except plants, fungi and animals. They are an essential, yet often forgotten, component of the soil microbiome. Method developments have now furthered our understanding of the real taxonomic and functional diversity of soil protists. They occupy key roles in microbial foodwebs as consumers of bacteria, fungi and other small eukaryotes. As parasites of plants, animals and even of larger protists, they regulate populations and shape communities. Pathogenic forms play a major role in public health issues as human parasites, or act as agricultural pests...
February 13, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Liselot Dewachter, Natalie Verstraeten, Maarten Fauvart, Jan Michiels
Bacterial proliferation depends on the cells' capability to proceed through consecutive rounds of the cell cycle. The cell cycle consists of a series of events during which cells grow, copy their genome, partition the duplicated DNA into different cell halves and, ultimately, divide to produce two newly formed daughter cells. Cell cycle control is of the utmost importance to maintain the correct order of events and safeguard the integrity of the cell and its genomic information. This review covers insights into the regulation of individual key cell cycle events in Escherichia coli...
January 22, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
G Ligat, R Cazal, S Hantz, S Alain
Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is responsible for life-threatening infections in immunocompromised individuals and can cause serious congenital malformations. Available antivirals target the viral polymerase but are subject to cross-resistance and toxicity. New antivirals targeting other replication steps and inducing fewer adverse effects are therefore needed. During HCMV replication, DNA maturation and packaging are performed by the terminase complex, which cleaves DNA to package the genome into the capsid...
January 18, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Yijin Ren, Can Wang, Zhi Chen, Elaine Allan, Henny C van der Mei, Henk J Busscher
Phenotypically-heterogeneous micro-environments emerge as biofilms mature across different environments. Phenotypic-heterogeneity in biofilm sub-populations not obeying quorum sensing-dictated, collective group-behavior, may be considered as a strategy allowing non-conformists to survive hostile conditions. Heterogeneous phenotype development has been amply studied with respect to gene expression and genotypic changes, but 'biofilm genes' responsible for pre-programmed development of heterogeneous micro-environments in biofilms have never been discovered...
January 9, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Didier Ndeh, Harry J Gilbert
The human gut microbiota (HGM) makes an important contribution to health and disease. It is a complex microbial community of trillions of microbes with a majority of its members represented within two phyla, the Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes, although it also contains species of Actinobacteria and Proteobacteria. Reflecting its importance, the HGM is sometimes referred to as an 'organ' as it performs functions analogous to systemic tissues within the human host. The major nutrients available to the HGM are host and dietary complex carbohydrates...
January 9, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Pascale Vonaesch, Mark Anderson, Philippe J Sansonetti
Even though tremendous progress has been made in the last decades to elucidate the mechanisms of intestinal homeostasis, dysbiosis and disease, we are only at the beginning of understanding the complexity of the gut ecosystem and the underlying interaction networks. We are also only starting to unravel the mechanisms that pathogens have evolved to overcome the barriers imposed by the microbiota and host to exploit the system to their own benefit. Recent work in these domains clearly indicates that the 'traditional Koch's postulate', which state that a given pathogen leads to a distinct disease, are not valid for all 'infectious' diseases, but that a more complete and complex interpretation of the Koch's postulate is needed in order to understand and explain them...
January 9, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Stanislava Gunišová, Vladislava Hronová, Mahabub Pasha Mohammad, Alan G Hinnebusch, Leoš Shivaya Valášek
Protein production must be strictly controlled at its beginning and end to synthesize a polypeptide that faithfully copies genetic information carried in the encoding mRNA. In contrast to viruses and prokaryotes, the majority of mRNAs in eukaryotes contain only one coding sequence, resulting in production of a single protein. There are, however, many exceptional mRNAs that either carry short open reading frames upstream of the main coding sequence (uORFs) or even contain multiple long ORFs. A wide variety of mechanisms has evolved in microbes and higher eukaryotes to prevent recycling of some or all translational components upon termination of the first translated ORF in such mRNAs and thereby enable subsequent translation of the next uORF or downstream coding sequence...
December 21, 2017: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Philippe J Sansonetti
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
March 1, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Hannah R Frost, Martina Sanderson-Smith, Mark Walker, Anne Botteaux, Pierre R Smeesters
M and M-like surface proteins from group A Streptococcus (GAS) act as virulence factors and have been used in multiple vaccine candidates. While the M protein has been extensively studied, the two genetically and functionally related M-like proteins, Mrp and Enn, although present in most streptococcal strains have been relatively less characterised. We compile the current state of knowledge for these two proteins, from discovery to recent studies on function and immunogenicity, using the M protein for comparison as a prototype of this family of proteins...
March 1, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
William F Martin, Donald A Bryant, J Thomas Beatty
The origin and early evolution of photosynthesis are reviewed from an ecophysiological perspective. Earth's first ecosystems were chemotrophic, fueled by geological H2 at hydrothermal vents, and required flavin-based electron bifurcation to reduce ferredoxin for CO2 fixation. Chlorophyll-based phototrophy (chlorophototrophy) allowed autotrophs to generate reduced ferredoxin without electron bifurcation, providing them access to reductants other than H2. Because high-intensity, short-wavelength electromagnetic radiation at Earth's surface would have been damaging for the first chlorophyll (Chl)-containing cells, photosynthesis probably arose at hydrothermal vents under low-intensity, long-wavelength geothermal light...
November 21, 2017: 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
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
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