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Trends Microbiol. 2003 Jul;11(7):306-11.

Are the molecular strategies that control apoptosis conserved in bacteria?

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Department of Microbiology, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID 83844-3052, USA.


The Staphylococcus aureus cid and lrg operons have been shown to encode putative membrane proteins that are involved in the regulation of murein hydrolase activity and penicillin tolerance. Cid proteins enhance murein hydrolase activity and penicillin sensitivity, whereas Lrg proteins have an inhibitory effect on these processes. It has been proposed that the Cid and Lrg proteins function in a way analogous to bacteriophage-encoded holins and antiholins, respectively, which control the timing of bacteriophage-induced lysis. This article explores the possibility that the Cid-Lrg regulatory system controls bacterial programmed cell death using a molecular strategy that it is functionally analogous to that mediated by the eukaryotic Bcl-2 family of apoptosis regulatory proteins.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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