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FEMS Microbiology Reviews

Amy L Burns, Madeline G Dans, Juan M Balbin, Tania deKoning-Ward, Paul R Gilson, James G Beeson, Michelle J Boyle, Danny W Wilson
Plasmodium spp. parasites that cause malaria disease remain a significant global-health burden. With the spread of parasites resistant to artemisinin combination therapies in Southeast Asia, there is a growing need to develop new antimalarials with novel targets. Invasion of the red blood cell by Plasmodium merozoites is essential for parasite survival and proliferation, thus representing an attractive target for therapeutic development. Red blood cell invasion requires a co-ordinated series of protein/protein interactions, protease cleavage events, intracellular signals, organelle release and engagement of an actin-myosin motor, which provide many potential targets for drug development...
February 11, 2019: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Indra Bervoets, Daniel Charlier
Gene expression occurs in two essential steps, transcription and translation. In bacteria, the two processes are tightly coupled in time and space, and highly regulated. Tight regulation of gene expression is crucial. It limits wasteful consumption of resources and energy, prevents accumulation of potentially growth inhibiting reaction intermediates, and sustains the fitness and potential virulence of the organism in a fluctuating, competitive and frequently stressful environment. Since the onset of studies on regulation of enzyme synthesis, numerous distinct regulatory mechanisms modulating transcription and/or translation have been discovered...
February 4, 2019: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Margherita Bertuzzi, Gemma E Hayes, Elaine M Bignell
Intracellular occupancy of the respiratory epithelium is a useful pathogenic strategy facilitating microbial replication and evasion of professional phagocytes or circulating antimicrobial drugs. A less appreciated but growing body of evidence indicates that the airway epithelium also plays a crucial role in host defence against inhaled pathogens, by promoting ingestion and quelling of microorganisms, processes which can become subverted to favour pathogen activities and promote respiratory disease.To achieve a deeper understanding of beneficial and deleterious activities of respiratory epithelia during antimicrobial defence, we have comprehensively surveyed all current knowledge on airway epithelial uptake of bacterial and fungal pathogens...
January 18, 2019: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Blossom Damania, Christian Münz
Human γ-herpesviruses include the closely related tumor viruses Epstein Barr virus (EBV) and Kaposi Sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV). EBV is the most growth transforming pathogen known and linked to at least seven human malignancies. KSHV is also associated with three human cancers. Most EBV and KSHV infected individuals fortunately remain disease free despite persistent infection and this is likely due to the robustness of the immune control that they mount against these tumor viruses. However, upon immune suppression EBV and KSHV associated malignancies emerge at increased frequencies...
January 15, 2019: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Flaviana Di Lorenzo, Cristina De Castro, Alba Silipo, Antonio Molinaro
The human gastrointestinal tract harbors a heterogeneous and complex microbial community which plays a key role in human health. The gut microbiota controls the development of the immune system by setting systemic threshold for immune activation. Glycoconjugates, such as lipopolysaccharides, from gut bacteria have been shown to be able to elicit both systemic proinflammatory and immunomodulatory responses. This phenomenon is particularly intriguing considering that the immune system is charged with the task to distinguish the beneficial microbes from the pathogens, even if the commensal bacteria have molecular patterns resembling those of the pathogenic counterparts...
January 15, 2019: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Fiona O Rourke, Volkhard A J Kempf
Adult stem and progenitor cells possess unique qualities of proliferative capacity and phenotypic plasticity making their potential interactions with pathogenic and commensal bacteria a significant factor in health and disease. This interaction may result in the hindrance of regenerative capacity and degenerative disease. In other contexts, bacterial -stem cell cross talk plays an important role in regulating stem cell renewal and maintaining homeostasis. Some stems cells are involved in combating infections and modulating immune responses...
January 15, 2019: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Sukhvinder Gill, Ryan Catchpole, Patrick Forterre
Cells from all three domains of life, Archaea, Bacteria and Eukarya, produce extracellular vesicles (EVs) which are sometimes associated to filamentous structures known as nanopods or nanotubes. The mechanisms of EV biogenesis in the three domains remain poorly understood, although studies in Bacteria and Eukarya indicate that the regulation of lipid composition plays a major role in initiating membrane curvature. EVs are increasingly recognized as important mediators of intercellular communication via transfer of a wide variety of molecular cargoes...
November 21, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
José A Bengoechea, Joana Sa Pessoa
Klebsiella species cause a wide range of diseases including pneumonia, UTIs, bloodstream infections, and sepsis. These infections are particularly a problem among neonates, elderly and immunocompromised individuals. Klebsiella is also responsible for a significant number of community-acquired infections. A defining feature of these infections is their morbidity and mortality, and the Klebsiella strains associated with them are considered hypervirulent. The increasing isolation of multidrug resistant strains has significantly narrowed, or in some settings completely removed, the therapeutic options for the treatment of Klebsiella infections...
November 18, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Sylvester Holt, Marta H Miks, Bruna Trindade de Carvalho, Maria R Foulquié-Moreno, Johan M Thevelein
Aroma compounds provide attractiveness and variety to alcoholic beverages. We discuss the molecular biology of a major subset of beer aroma volatiles, fruity and floral compounds, originating from raw materials (malt and hops), or formed by yeast during fermentation. We introduce aroma perception, describe the most aroma-active, fruity and floral compounds in fruits and their presence and origin in beer. They are classified into categories based on their functional groups and biosynthesis pathways: 1) Higher alcohols and esters, 2) Polyfunctional thiols, 3) Lactones and furanones, and 4) Terpenoids...
November 15, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
E Prudent, D Raoult
Many obligate or facultative intracellular bacteria pose a critical problem in clinical microbiology diagnosis as a result of their fastidious growth or lack of growth in conventional culture media. Molecular diagnosis is based on the analysis and demonstration of nucleic acids (DNA and RNA). In the field of infectiology, it combines laboratory medicine with the technology of molecular genetics to identify infectious pathogens. Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (FISH) is used for the detection and localization of nucleotide sequences in various samples while preserving cell integrity...
November 10, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Annika Gillis, Nancy Fayad, Lionel Makart, Alexander Bolotin, Alexei Sorokin, Mireille Kallassy, Jacques Mahillon
Bacillus thuringiensis is a well-known biopesticide that has been used for more than 80 years. This spore-forming bacterium belongs to the group of Bacillus cereus that also includes, among others, emetic and diarrheic pathotypes of B. cereus, the animal pathogen Bacillus anthracis and the psychrotolerant Bacillus weihenstephanensis. Bacillus thuringiensis is rather unique since it has adapted its lifestyle as an efficient pathogen of specific insect larvae. One of the peculiarities of B. thuringiensis strains is the extent of their extrachromosomal pool, with strains harbouring more than 10 distinct plasmid molecules...
November 1, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Mecky Pohlschroder, Sonja-Verena Albers
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
November 1, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Lisa Röttjers, Karoline Faust
Microbial networks are an increasingly popular tool to investigate microbial community structure, as they integrate multiple types of information and may represent systems-level behaviour. Interpreting these networks is not straightforward, and the biological implications of network properties are unclear. Analysis of microbial networks allows researchers to predict hub species and species interactions. Additionally, such analyses can help identify alternative community states and niches. Here, we review factors that can result in spurious predictions and address emergent properties that may be meaningful in the context of the microbiome...
November 1, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Michelle M C Buckner, Maria Laura Ciusa, Laura J V Piddock
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global problem hindering treatment of bacterial infections, rendering many aspects of modern medicine less effective. AMR genes (ARGs) are frequently located on plasmids, which are self-replicating elements of DNA. They are often transmissible between bacteria, and some have spread globally. Novel strategies to combat AMR are needed, and plasmid curing and anti-plasmid approaches could reduce ARG prevalence, and sensitise bacteria to antibiotics. We discuss the use of curing agents as laboratory tools including chemicals (e...
November 1, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Jeella Z Acedo, Sorina Chiorean, John C Vederas, Marco J van Belkum
Bacteria use various strategies to compete in an ecological niche, including the production of bacteriocins. Bacteriocins are ribosomally synthesized antibacterial peptides, and it has been postulated that the majority of Gram-positive bacteria produce one or more of these natural products. Bacteriocins can be used in food preservation and are also considered as potential alternatives to antibiotics. The majority of bacteriocins from Gram-positive bacteria had been traditionally divided into two major classes, namely lantibiotics, which are post-translationally modified bacteriocins, and unmodified bacteriocins...
November 1, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Colin R Harwood, Jean-Marie Mouillon, Susanne Pohl, José Arnau
Members of the 'Bacillus subtilis group' include some of the most commercially important bacteria, used for the production of a wide range of industrial enzymes and fine biochemicals. Increasingly, group members have been developed for use as animal feed enhancers and antifungal biocontrol agents. The group has long been recognised to produce a range of secondary metabolites and, despite their long history of safe usage, this has resulted in an increased focus on their safety. Traditional methods used to detect the production of secondary metabolites and other potentially harmful compounds have relied on phenotypic tests...
November 1, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Sandra Wiegand, Mareike Jogler, Christian Jogler
Planctomycetes are ubiquitous, environmentally and biotechnologically important bacteria that are key players in global carbon and nitrogen cycles. Ever since their first discovery in the 1920s they seemed to blur the prokaryote /eukaryote dichotomy. After initially being described as fungi and reclassified as bacteria later, they were still thought to feature a nucleus-like compartment surrounding their highly condensed DNA. Also, an endocytosis-like uptake mechanism for macromolecules was described. Besides these eukaryotic hallmark traits, Planctomycetes seemed to lack typical bacterial features such as a peptidoglycan cell wall or the universal bacterial cell division protein FtsZ, while mostly dividing by polar budding instead of binary fission...
November 1, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Pablo Mateos-Gil, Pedro Tarazona, Marisela Vélez
The bacterial cytoskeletal protein FtsZ binds and hydrolyzes GTP, self-aggregates into dynamic filaments and guides the assembly of the septal ring on the inner side of the membrane at midcell. This ring constricts the cell during division and is present in most bacteria. Despite exhaustive studies undertaken in the last 25 years after its discovery, we do not yet know the mechanism by which this GTP-dependent self-aggregating protein exerts force on the underlying membrane. This paper reviews recent experiments and theoretical models proposed to explain FtsZ filament dynamic assembly and force generation...
October 29, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Ario de Marco, Neus Ferrer-Miralles, Elena Garcia-Fruitós, Anna Mitraki, Spela Peternel, Ursula Rinas, Mauricio A Trujillo-Roldán, Norma A Valdez-Cruz, Esther Vázquez, Antonio Villaverde
Understanding the structure, functionalities and biology of functional amyloids is an issue of emerging interest. Inclusion bodies, namely protein clusters formed in recombinant bacteria during protein production processes, have emerged as unanticipated, highly tunable models for the scrutiny of the physiology and architecture of functional amyloids. Based on an amyloidal skeleton combined with varying amounts of native or native-like protein forms, bacterial inclusion bodies exhibit an unusual arrangement that confers mechanical stability, biological activity and conditional protein release, being thus exploitable as versatile biomaterials...
October 24, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Sangyong Lim, Jong-Hyun Jung, Laurence Blanchard, Arjan de Groot
Deinococcus bacteria are famous for their extreme resistance to ionizing radiation and other DNA damage- and oxidative stress-generating agents. More than a hundred genes have been reported to contribute to resistance to radiation, desiccation and/or oxidative stress in Deinococcus radiodurans. These encode proteins involved in DNA repair, oxidative stress defence, regulation, and proteins of yet unknown function or with an extracytoplasmic location. Here, we analysed the conservation of radiation resistance-associated proteins in other radiation-resistant Deinococcus species...
October 18, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
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