Special Issue "Yeast Killer Toxins"
A special issue of Toxins (ISSN 2072-6651).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2017) | Viewed by 29079
The initial discovery of killer toxin-secreting strains in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and its phenotypic association with the presence of cytoplasmic persisting double-stranded (ds)RNA viruses marked the beginning of intense research in the fields of killer toxin biology and yeast virology in the mid 1960s and early 1970s. Shortly thereafter it became evident that killer toxin secreting yeasts can be frequently found within the fungal kingdom, and that even some killer toxins bear a pronounced antimycotic potential by effectively killing human and plant pathogenic yeasts and fungi. While the genetic basis of a killer phenotype in yeast is strikingly diverse, ranging from killer toxins encoded by chromosomal genes, cytoplasmic virus-like elements (VLE), or encapsidated dsRNA viruses, in vivo toxicity is usually initiated in a receptor-mediated two-step process after which the toxins either enter cells by endocytosis to reach the final molecular target(s) or disrupt plasma membrane or cell wall integrity and function. Since the vast majority of killer toxins selectively kill yeasts and fungi, toxin-specific immunity or antitoxin components have coevolved to prevent killer yeasts from suicide.
After more than 50 years of research much has been learned about eukaryotic cell biology and virus/host interactions by dissecting processes such as killer toxin precursor processing, toxin maturation and secretion, and mode of cell killing. Such studies fostered our understanding and current view of processes that are likewise fundamental to cell biology and to various human diseases, including mechanisms of host cell intoxication, intracellular toxin transport and translocation from endomembranes, protein ubiquitylation and proteasomal degradation, tRNA anticodon cleavage, and even apoptotic cell death. Research in this field has proven of general importance in understanding eukaryotic cell biology and, in addition, becomes increasingly interesting for biomedical and biotechnological applications. This Special Issue will cover some of these aspects in this still timely and fascinating field of “Yeast Killer Toxins”.
Prof. Dr. Manfred J. Schmitt
Manuscript Submission Information
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- killer yeasts
- protein toxins
- toxin immunity
- cell surface receptors
- intracellular trafficking
- endomembrane transport
- pore formation
- anticodon ribonuclease
- virus/host cell interactions
- cell cycle control and apoptosis