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Annual Review of Microbiology

Richard L Gourse, Albert Y Chen, Saumya Gopalkrishnan, Patricia Sanchez-Vazquez, Angela Myers, Wilma Ross
The stringent response to nutrient deprivation is a stress response found throughout the bacterial domain of life. Although first described in proteobacteria for matching ribosome synthesis to the cell's translation status and for preventing formation of defective ribosomal particles, the response is actually much broader, regulating many hundreds of genes-some positively, some negatively. Utilization of the signaling molecules ppGpp and pppGpp for this purpose is ubiquitous in bacterial evolution, although the mechanisms employed vary...
September 8, 2018: Annual Review of Microbiology
Matthew B Laurens
Malaria vaccine development has rapidly advanced in the past decade. The very first phase 3 clinical trial of the RTS,S vaccine was completed with over 15,000 African infants and children, and pilot implementation studies are underway. Next-generation candidate vaccines using novel antigens, platforms, or approaches targeting different and/or multiple stages of the Plasmodium life cycle are being tested. Many candidates, in various stages of development, promise enhanced efficacy of long duration and broad protection against genetically diverse malaria strains, with a few studies under way in target populations in endemic areas...
September 8, 2018: Annual Review of Microbiology
Erin M Langdon, Amy S Gladfelter
RNA localization mechanisms have been intensively studied and include localized protection of mRNA from degradation, diffusion-coupled local entrapment of mRNA, and directed transport of mRNAs along the cytoskeleton. While it is well understood how cells utilize these three mechanisms to organize mRNAs within the cytoplasm, a newly appreciated mechanism of RNA localization has emerged in recent years in which mRNAs phase-separate and form liquid-like droplets. mRNAs both contribute to condensation of proteins into liquid-like structures and are themselves regulated by being incorporated into membraneless organelles...
September 8, 2018: Annual Review of Microbiology
Xiaojun Tan, Lijun Sun, Jueqi Chen, Zhijian J Chen
Microbial infections are recognized by the innate immune system through germline-encoded pattern recognition receptors (PRRs). As most microbial pathogens contain DNA and/or RNA during their life cycle, nucleic acid sensing has evolved as an essential strategy for host innate immune defense. Pathogen-derived nucleic acids with distinct features are recognized by specific host PRRs localized in endolysosomes and the cytosol. Activation of these PRRs triggers signaling cascades that culminate in the production of type I interferons and proinflammatory cytokines, leading to induction of an antimicrobial state, activation of adaptive immunity, and eventual clearance of the infection...
September 8, 2018: Annual Review of Microbiology
Volkmar Braun
My interest in membranes was piqued during a lecture series given by one of the founders of molecular biology, Max Delbrück, at Caltech, where I spent a postdoctoral year to learn more about protein chemistry. That general interest was further refined to my ultimate research focal point-the outer membrane of Escherichia coli-through the influence of the work of Wolfhard Weidel, who discovered the murein (peptidoglycan) layer and biochemically characterized the first phage receptors of this bacterium. The discovery of lipoprotein bound to murein was completely unexpected and demonstrated that the protein composition of the outer membrane and the structure and function of proteins could be unraveled at a time when nothing was known about outer membrane proteins...
September 8, 2018: Annual Review of Microbiology
Stephen K Dolan, Martin Welch
2017 marks the 60th anniversary of Krebs' seminal paper on the glyoxylate shunt (and coincidentally, also the 80th anniversary of his discovery of the citric acid cycle). Sixty years on, we have witnessed substantial developments in our understanding of how flux is partitioned between the glyoxylate shunt and the oxidative decarboxylation steps of the citric acid cycle. The last decade has shown us that the beautifully elegant textbook mechanism that regulates carbon flux through the shunt in E. coli is an oversimplification of the situation in many other bacteria...
September 8, 2018: Annual Review of Microbiology
Heinz Feldmann, Friederike Feldmann, Andrea Marzi
The West African Ebola virus (EBOV) epidemic has fast-tracked countermeasures for this rare, emerging zoonotic pathogen. Until 2013-2014, most EBOV vaccine candidates were stalled between the preclinical and clinical milestones on the path to licensure, because of funding problems, lack of interest from pharmaceutical companies, and competing priorities in public health. The unprecedented and devastating epidemic propelled vaccine candidates toward clinical trials that were initiated near the end of the active response to the outbreak...
September 8, 2018: Annual Review of Microbiology
Jesús Blázquez, Jerónimo Rodríguez-Beltrán, Ivan Matic
By targeting essential cellular processes, antibiotics provoke metabolic perturbations and induce stress responses and genetic variation in bacteria. Here we review current knowledge of the mechanisms by which these molecules generate genetic instability. They include production of reactive oxygen species, as well as induction of the stress response regulons, which lead to enhancement of mutation and recombination rates and modulation of horizontal gene transfer. All these phenomena influence the evolution and spread of antibiotic resistance...
September 8, 2018: Annual Review of Microbiology
Nicholas J Croucher, Alessandra Løchen, Stephen D Bentley
Streptococcus pneumoniae (the pneumococcus) is a nasopharyngeal commensal and respiratory pathogen. Most isolates express a capsule, the species-wide diversity of which has been immunologically classified into ∼100 serotypes. Capsule polysaccharides have been combined into multivalent vaccines widely used in adults, but the T cell independence of the antibody response means they are not protective in infants. Polysaccharide conjugate vaccines (PCVs) trigger a T cell-dependent response through attaching a carrier protein to capsular polysaccharides...
September 8, 2018: Annual Review of Microbiology
Marie-Claude Carrier, David Lalaouna, Eric Massé
The first report of trans-acting RNA-based regulation in bacterial cells dates back to 1984. Subsequent studies in diverse bacteria unraveled shared properties of trans-acting small regulatory RNAs, forming a clear definition of these molecules. These shared characteristics have been used extensively to identify new small RNAs (sRNAs) and their interactomes. Recently however, emerging technologies able to resolve RNA-RNA interactions have identified new types of regulatory RNAs. In this review, we present a broader definition of trans-acting sRNA regulators and discuss their newly discovered intrinsic characteristics...
September 8, 2018: Annual Review of Microbiology
Susan Gottesman
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
September 8, 2018: Annual Review of Microbiology
Chiara Rapisarda, Matteo Tassinari, Francesca Gubellini, Rémi Fronzes
Bacterial secretion systems are responsible for releasing macromolecules to the extracellular milieu or directly into other cells. These membrane complexes are associated with pathogenicity and bacterial fitness. Understanding of these large assemblies has exponentially increased in the last few years thanks to electron microscopy. In fact, a revolution in this field has led to breakthroughs in characterizing the structures of secretion systems and other macromolecular machineries so as to obtain high-resolution images of complexes that could not be crystallized...
September 8, 2018: Annual Review of Microbiology
Gabrielle A Josling, Kim C Williamson, Manuel Llinás
Sexual differentiation of malaria parasites from the asexual blood stage into gametocytes is an essential part of the life cycle, as gametocytes are the form that is taken up by the mosquito host. Because of the essentiality of this process for transmission to the mosquito, gametocytogenesis is an extremely attractive target for therapeutic interventions. The subject of this review is the considerable progress that has been made in recent years in elucidating the molecular mechanisms governing this important differentiation process...
September 8, 2018: Annual Review of Microbiology
Kami Kim
Toxoplasma gondii is a common veterinary and human pathogen that persists as latent bradyzoite forms within infected hosts. The ability of the parasite to interconvert between tachyzoite and bradyzoite is key for pathogenesis of toxoplasmosis, particularly in immunocompromised individuals. The transition between tachyzoites and bradyzoites is epigenetically regulated and coupled to the cell cycle. Recent epigenomic studies have begun to elucidate the chromatin states associated with developmental switches in T...
September 8, 2018: Annual Review of Microbiology
Alice Feurtey, Eva H Stukenbrock
Throughout evolutionary history in the kingdom Fungi, taxa have exchanged genetic information among species, as revealed in particular by analyses of genome sequences. In fungi, hybridization can occur by sexual mating or by fusion of vegetative structures giving rise to new species or leaving traces of introgression in the genome. Furthermore, gene exchange can occur by horizontal gene transfer between species and can even include organisms outside the kingdom Fungi. In several cases, interspecific gene exchange has been instrumental in rapid adaptive evolution of fungal species and has notably played a role in the emergence of new pathogens...
September 8, 2018: Annual Review of Microbiology
Kyla S Ost, June L Round
Mammalian immune systems evolved within a diverse world dominated by microbes, making interactions between these two life-forms inevitable. Adaptive immunity protects against microbes through antigen-specific responses. In classical studies, these responses were investigated in the context of pathogenicity; however, we now know that they have significant effects on our resident microbes. In turn, microbes employ an arsenal of mechanisms to influence development and specificity of host immunity. Understanding these complex reactions will be necessary to develop microbiota-based strategies to prevent or treat disease...
September 8, 2018: Annual Review of Microbiology
Manoj T Duraisingh, Kristen M Skillman
Eukaryotic pathogens must survive in different hosts, respond to changing environments, and exploit specialized niches to propagate. Plasmodium parasites cause human malaria during bloodstream infections, where they must persist long enough to be transmitted. Parasites have evolved diverse strategies of variant gene expression that control critical biological processes of blood-stage infections, including antigenic variation, erythrocyte invasion, innate immune evasion, and nutrient acquisition, as well as life-cycle transitions...
September 8, 2018: Annual Review of Microbiology
Volker Müller, Nilanjan Pal Chowdhury, Mirko Basen
A decade ago, a novel mechanism to drive thermodynamically unfavorable redox reactions was discovered that is used in prokaryotes to drive endergonic electron transfer reactions by a direct coupling to an exergonic redox reaction in one soluble enzyme complex. This process is referred to as flavin-based electron bifurcation, or FBEB. An important function of FBEB is that it allows the generation of reduced low-potential ferredoxin (Fdred ) from comparably high-potential electron donors such as NADH or molecular hydrogen (H2 )...
September 8, 2018: Annual Review of Microbiology
Gareth Bloomfield
Sex in social amoebae (or dictyostelids) has a number of striking features. Dictyostelid zygotes do not proliferate but grow to a large size by feeding on other cells of the same species, each zygote ultimately forming a walled structure called a macrocyst. The diploid macrocyst nucleus undergoes meiosis, after which a single meiotic product survives to restart haploid vegetative growth. Meiotic recombination is generally initiated by the Spo11 enzyme, which introduces DNA double-strand breaks. Uniquely, as far as is known among sexual eukaryotes, dictyostelids lack a SPO11 gene...
September 8, 2018: Annual Review of Microbiology
Nora Vázquez-Laslop, Alexander S Mankin
The ribosome is a major antibiotic target. Many types of inhibitors can stop cells from growing by binding at functional centers of the ribosome and interfering with its ability to synthesize proteins. These antibiotics were usually viewed as general protein synthesis inhibitors, which indiscriminately stop translation at every codon of every mRNA, preventing the ribosome from making any protein. However, at each step of the translation cycle, the ribosome interacts with multiple ligands (mRNAs, tRNA substrates, translation factors, etc...
September 8, 2018: Annual Review of Microbiology
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