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Toxins 2014, 6(3), 1002-1020; doi:10.3390/toxins6031002

Multiple Toxin-Antitoxin Systems in Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Laboratoire de Microbiologie et Génétique Moléculaire (LMGM), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Université Paul Sabatier, 118 route de Narbonne, Toulouse 31062, France
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 December 2013 / Revised: 20 February 2014 / Accepted: 24 February 2014 / Published: 6 March 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxin-Antitoxin System)

Abstract

The hallmark of Mycobacterium tuberculosis is its ability to persist for a long-term in host granulomas, in a non-replicating and drug-tolerant state, and later awaken to cause disease. To date, the cellular factors and the molecular mechanisms that mediate entry into the persistence phase are poorly understood. Remarkably, M. tuberculosis possesses a very high number of toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems in its chromosome, 79 in total, regrouping both well-known (68) and novel (11) families, with some of them being strongly induced in drug-tolerant persisters. In agreement with the capacity of stress-responsive TA systems to generate persisters in other bacteria, it has been proposed that activation of TA systems in M. tuberculosis could contribute to its pathogenesis. Herein, we review the current knowledge on the multiple TA families present in this bacterium, their mechanism, and their potential role in physiology and virulence.
Keywords: toxin-antitoxins; molecular chaperones; proteases; persistence toxin-antitoxins; molecular chaperones; proteases; persistence
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Sala, A.; Bordes, P.; Genevaux, P. Multiple Toxin-Antitoxin Systems in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Toxins 2014, 6, 1002-1020.

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