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Microbiology Spectrum

Soyeong Sim, Sandra L Wolin
Y RNAs are noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) that are present in most animal cells and also in many bacteria. These RNAs were discovered because they are bound by the Ro60 protein, a major target of autoantibodies in patients with some systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases. Studies of Ro60 and Y RNAs in Deinococcus radiodurans , the first sequenced bacterium with a Ro60 ortholog, revealed that they function with 3'-to-5' exoribonucleases to alter the composition of RNA populations during some forms of environmental stress...
July 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
Heather J Beck, Isabella Moll
Previously, leaderless mRNAs (lmRNAs) were perceived to make up only a minor fraction of the transcriptome in bacteria. However, advancements in RNA sequencing technology are uncovering vast numbers of lmRNAs, particularly in archaea, Actinobacteria , and extremophiles and thus underline their significance in cellular physiology and regulation. Due to the absence of conventional ribosome binding signals, lmRNA translation initiation is distinct from canonical mRNAs and can therefore be differentially regulated...
July 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
Shoshy Altuvia, Gisela Storz, Kai Papenfort
The study of bacteriophages (phages) and prophages has provided key insights into almost every cellular process as well as led to the discovery of unexpected new mechanisms and the development of valuable tools. This is exemplified for RNA-based regulation. For instance, the characterization and exploitation of the antiphage CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat) systems is revolutionizing molecular biology. Phage-encoded proteins such as the RNA-binding MS2 protein, which is broadly used to isolate tagged RNAs, also have been developed as valuable tools...
July 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
Jens Georg, Wolfgang R Hess
Although bacterial genomes are usually densely protein-coding, genome-wide mapping approaches of transcriptional start sites revealed that a significant fraction of the identified promoters drive the transcription of noncoding RNAs. These can be trans -acting RNAs, mainly originating from intergenic regions and, in many studied examples, possessing regulatory functions. However, a significant fraction of these noncoding RNAs consist of natural antisense transcripts (asRNAs), which overlap other transcriptional units...
July 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
Nicole Werner, Scott McEwen, Lothar Kreienbrock
Monitoring antimicrobial drug usage in animals at the national and international levels is important for identification and tracking if and how often quantities are used. This information can be used for many purposes, including raising awareness, comparing use patterns across countries, identifying trends over time, integrating with antimicrobial resistance data, conducting risk assessment, and evaluating the effectiveness of measures to manage antimicrobial usage. The goal of this article is to describe how monitoring systems for antimicrobial drug usage in animals are set up and conducted, using examples from specific countries as well as international efforts...
July 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
Sine Lo Svenningsen
Quorum sensing is a vital property of bacteria that enables community-wide coordination of collective behaviors. A key example of such a behavior is biofilm formation, in which groups of bacteria invest in synthesizing a protective, joint extracellular matrix. Quorum sensing involves the production, release, and subsequent detection of extracellular signaling molecules called autoinducers. The architecture of quorum-sensing signal transduction pathways is highly variable among different species of bacteria, but frequently involves posttranscriptional regulation carried out by small regulatory RNA molecules...
July 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
S Simjee, P McDermott, D J Trott, R Chuanchuen
There is broad consensus internationally that surveillance of the levels of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) occurring in various systems underpins strategies to address the issue. The key reasons for surveillance of resistance are to determine (i) the size of the problem, (ii) whether resistance is increasing, (iii) whether previously unknown types of resistance are emerging, (iv) whether a particular type of resistance is spreading, and (v) whether a particular type of resistance is associated with a particular outbreak...
July 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
Nara Figueroa-Bossi, Lionello Bossi
Most noncoding small RNAs (sRNAs) that regulate gene expression do so by base-pairing with mRNAs, affecting their translation and/or stability. Regulators as evolutionarily distant as the trans -encoded sRNAs of bacteria and the microRNAs (miRNAs) of higher eukaryotes share the property of targeting short sequence segments that occur in multiple copies in bacterial and eukaryotic transcriptomes. This target promiscuity has major implications for sRNA function. On the one hand, it allows the sRNA to coordinately control several different targets and thus be at the center of regulatory networks...
July 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
Alexander J Westermann
Bacterial regulatory RNAs are key players in adaptation to changing environmental conditions and response to diverse cellular stresses. However, while regulatory RNAs of bacterial pathogens have been intensely studied under defined conditions in vitro , characterization of their role during the infection of eukaryotic host organisms is lagging behind. This review summarizes our current understanding of the contribution of the different classes of regulatory RNAs and RNA-binding proteins to bacterial virulence and illustrates their role in infection by reviewing the mechanisms of some prominent representatives of each class...
July 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
Laurent Poirel, Jean-Yves Madec, Agnese Lupo, Anne-Kathrin Schink, Nicolas Kieffer, Patrice Nordmann, Stefan Schwarz
Multidrug resistance in Escherichia coli has become a worrying issue that is increasingly observed in human but also in veterinary medicine worldwide. E. coli is intrinsically susceptible to almost all clinically relevant antimicrobial agents, but this bacterial species has a great capacity to accumulate resistance genes, mostly through horizontal gene transfer. The most problematic mechanisms in E. coli correspond to the acquisition of genes coding for extended-spectrum β-lactamases (conferring resistance to broad-spectrum cephalosporins), carbapenemases (conferring resistance to carbapenems), 16S rRNA methylases (conferring pan-resistance to aminoglycosides), plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance (PMQR) genes (conferring resistance to [fluoro]quinolones), and mcr genes (conferring resistance to polymyxins)...
July 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
Sezen Meydan, Nora Vázquez-Laslop, Alexander S Mankin
Genetic coding in bacteria largely operates via the "one gene-one protein" paradigm. However, the peculiarities of the mRNA structure, the versatility of the genetic code, and the dynamic nature of translation sometimes allow organisms to deviate from the standard rules of protein encoding. Bacteria can use several unorthodox modes of translation to express more than one protein from a single mRNA cistron. One such alternative path is the use of additional translation initiation sites within the gene...
July 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
Anne V Gautier-Bouchardon
Mycoplasmas are intrinsically resistant to antimicrobials targeting the cell wall (fosfomycin, glycopeptides, or β-lactam antibiotics) and to sulfonamides, first-generation quinolones, trimethoprim, polymixins, and rifampicin. The antibiotics most frequently used to control mycoplasmal infections in animals are macrolides and tetracyclines. Lincosamides, fluoroquinolones, pleuromutilins, phenicols, and aminoglycosides can also be active. Standardization of methods used for determination of susceptibility levels is difficult since no quality control strains are available and because of species-specific growth requirements...
July 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
Kimberly A Harris, Ronald R Breaker
Bacterial noncoding RNA (ncRNA) classes longer than 200 nucleotides are rare but are responsible for performing some of the most fundamental tasks in living cells. RNAs such as 16S and 23S rRNA, group I and group II introns, RNase P ribozymes, transfer-messenger RNAs, and coenzyme B12 riboswitches are diverse in structure and accomplish biochemical functions that rival the activities of proteins. Over the last decade, a number of new classes of large ncRNAs have been uncovered in bacteria. A total of 21 classes with no established functions have been identified through the use of bioinformatics search strategies...
July 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
Stefan Schwarz, Andrea T Feßler, Igor Loncaric, Congming Wu, Kristina Kadlec, Yang Wang, Jianzhong Shen
Antimicrobial resistance among staphylococci of animal origin is based on a wide variety of resistance genes. These genes mediate resistance to many classes of antimicrobial agents approved for use in animals, such as penicillins, cephalosporins, tetracyclines, macrolides, lincosamides, phenicols, aminoglycosides, aminocyclitols, pleuromutilins, and diaminopyrimidines. In addition, numerous mutations have been identified that confer resistance to specific antimicrobial agents, such as ansamycins and fluoroquinolones...
July 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
Kathrin S Fröhlich, Susan Gottesman
The ability of bacteria to thrive in diverse habitats and to adapt to ever-changing environmental conditions relies on the rapid and stringent modulation of gene expression. It has become evident in the past decade that small regulatory RNAs (sRNAs) are central components of networks controlling the bacterial responses to stress. Functioning at the posttranscriptional level, sRNAs base-pair with cognate mRNAs to alter translation, stability, or both to either repress or activate the targeted transcripts; the RNA chaperone Hfq participates in stabilizing sRNAs and in promoting pairing between target and sRNA...
July 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
Jordan K Villa, Yichi Su, Lydia M Contreras, Ming C Hammond
In bacteria and archaea, small RNAs (sRNAs) regulate complex networks through antisense interactions with target mRNAs in trans, and riboswitches regulate gene expression in cis based on the ability to bind small-molecule ligands. Although our understanding and characterization of these two important regulatory RNA classes is far from complete, these RNA-based mechanisms have proven useful for a wide variety of synthetic biology applications. Besides classic and contemporary applications in the realm of metabolic engineering and orthogonal gene control, this review also covers newer applications of regulatory RNAs as biosensors, logic gates, and tools to determine RNA-RNA interactions...
May 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
Luca Guardabassi, Mike Apley, John Elmerdahl Olsen, Pierre-Louis Toutain, Scott Weese
Optimization of antimicrobial treatment is a cornerstone in the fight against antimicrobial resistance. Various national and international authorities and professional veterinary and farming associations have released generic guidelines on prudent antimicrobial use in animals. However, these generic guidelines need to be translated into a set of animal species- and disease-specific practice recommendations. This article focuses on prevention of antimicrobial resistance and its complex relationship with treatment efficacy, highlighting key situations where the current antimicrobial drug products, treatment recommendations, and practices may be insufficient to minimize antimicrobial selection...
May 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
David H Lloyd, Stephen W Page
While antimicrobial resistance is already a public health crisis in human medicine, therapeutic failure in veterinary medicine due to antimicrobial resistance remains relatively uncommon. However, there are many pathways by which antimicrobial resistance determinants can travel between animals and humans: by close contact, through the food chain, or indirectly via the environment. Antimicrobial stewardship describes measures that can help mitigate the public health crisis and preserve the effectiveness of available antimicrobial agents...
May 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
Anaïs Brosse, Maude Guillier
Small regulatory RNAs are now recognized as key regulators of gene expression in bacteria. They accumulate under specific conditions, most often because their synthesis is directly controlled by transcriptional regulators, including but not limited to alternative sigma factors and response regulators of two-component systems. In turn, small RNAs regulate, mostly at the posttranscriptional level, expression of multiple genes, among which are genes encoding transcriptional regulators. Small RNAs are thus embedded in mixed regulatory circuits combining transcriptional and posttranscriptional controls, and whose properties are discussed here...
May 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
Katharina Höfer, Andres Jäschke
The increasingly complex functionality of RNA is contrasted by its simple chemical composition. RNA is generally built from only four different nucleotides (adenine, guanine, cytosine, and uracil). To date, >160 chemical modifications are known to decorate RNA molecules and thereby alter their function or stability. Many RNA modifications are conserved throughout bacteria, archaea, and eukaryotes, while some are unique to each branch of life. Most known modifications occur at internal positions, while there is limited diversity at the termini...
May 2018: Microbiology Spectrum
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