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Microbiol Mol Biol Rev. 2010 Jun;74(2):171-99. doi: 10.1128/MMBR.00046-09.

ppGpp conjures bacterial virulence.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Michigan Medical School, 6733 Medical Science Building II, 1150 West Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5620, USA


Like for all microbes, the goal of every pathogen is to survive and replicate. However, to overcome the formidable defenses of their hosts, pathogens are also endowed with traits commonly associated with virulence, such as surface attachment, cell or tissue invasion, and transmission. Numerous pathogens couple their specific virulence pathways with more general adaptations, like stress resistance, by integrating dedicated regulators with global signaling networks. In particular, many of nature's most dreaded bacteria rely on nucleotide alarmones to cue metabolic disturbances and coordinate survival and virulence programs. Here we discuss how components of the stringent response contribute to the virulence of a wide variety of pathogenic bacteria.

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