Special Issue "Toxin-Antitoxin Systems I"

A special issue of Microorganisms (ISSN 2076-2607). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Microbiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2019

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Hisako Masuda

School of Sciences, Indiana University Kokomo, Kokomo, IN 46902, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: molecular microbiology; toxin-antitoxin system; Mycobacterium; Escherichia coli; toxin

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Toxin–antitoxin (TA) systems are genetic loci composed of toxin and cognate antitoxin genes. TA systems are ubiquitously found in bacterial genomes, many of which often carry multiple TA pairs. The largest class of TA toxins are endoribonucleases, which cleave mRNA and/or tRNA in a sequence-specific manner. The degradation of RNA leads to rapid but reversible growth arrest. Other toxins also halt cell growth by inhibiting essential cellular processes such as DNA replication and cell division. In normally growing cells, antitoxins block cognate toxins’ activity or expression. Under stress conditions, antitoxins are preferentially degraded, allowing toxins to exert their toxicity. Despite the prevalence and clear biochemical mechanism of action, the physiological roles of TA systems are still under debate. TA-induced growth arrest is attributed to plasmid stabilization, inhibition of phage propagation, biofilm formation, and stress tolerance. Many recent studies have also investigated if and how each TA system is involved in the formation of persister cells, which are a metabolically quiescent subpopulation with multi-drug tolerance. The future of this research is leading towards solutions to many concerning phenomena, such as chronic and recurrent infections and the spreading of multidrug resistant genes among pathogenic bacteria.

In this Special Issue of Microbiology, devoted to the “Toxin-Antitoxin systems”, we invite current innovative research of any aspects related to TA systems.

Dr. Hisako Masuda
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Toxin-antitoxin
  • Bacteria
  • Stress tolerance
  • Growth arrest
  • Persister

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

Open AccessArticle In Silico Analysis of Genetic VapC Profiles from the Toxin-Antitoxin Type II VapBC Modules among Pathogenic, Intermediate, and Non-Pathogenic Leptospira
Microorganisms 2019, 7(2), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms7020056
Received: 29 January 2019 / Revised: 9 February 2019 / Accepted: 15 February 2019 / Published: 20 February 2019
PDF Full-text (4129 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Pathogenic Leptospira spp. is the etiological agent of leptospirosis. The high diversity among Leptospira species provides an array to look for important mediators involved in pathogenesis. Toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems represent an important survival mechanism on stress conditions. vapBC modules have been found [...] Read more.
Pathogenic Leptospira spp. is the etiological agent of leptospirosis. The high diversity among Leptospira species provides an array to look for important mediators involved in pathogenesis. Toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems represent an important survival mechanism on stress conditions. vapBC modules have been found in nearly one thousand genomes corresponding to about 40% of known TAs. In the present study, we investigated TA profiles of some strains of Leptospira using a TA database and compared them through protein alignment of VapC toxin sequences among Leptospira spp. genomes. Our analysis identified significant differences in the number of putative vapBC modules distributed in pathogenic, saprophytic, and intermediate strains: four in L. interrogans, three in L. borgpetersenii, eight in L. biflexa, and 15 in L. licerasiae. The VapC toxins show low identity among amino acid sequences within the species. Some VapC toxins appear to be exclusively conserved in unique species, others appear to be conserved among pathogenic or saprophytic strains, and some appear to be distributed randomly. The data shown here indicate that these modules evolved in a very complex manner, which highlights the strong need to identify and characterize new TAs as well as to understand their regulation networks and the possible roles of TA systems in pathogenic bacteria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxin-Antitoxin Systems I)
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