Special Issue "Toxin-Antitoxin Systems I"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2019
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
Manuscript Submission Information
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- Stress tolerance
- Growth arrest