Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Trends Biochem Sci. 2008 Jun;33(6):284-90. doi: 10.1016/j.tibs.2008.04.005. Epub 2008 May 16.

The long and short of it - polyphosphate, PPK and bacterial survival.

Author information

  • 1Research Institute in Healthcare Science, Department of Pharmacy, University of Wolverhampton, Wulfruna Street, Wolverhampton, WV1 1SB, UK.


Inorganic polyphosphate (poly P) is present in all species tested to date, from each of the three kingdoms of life. Studied mainly in prokaryotes, poly P and its associated enzymes are important in diverse basic metabolism, in at least some structural functions and, notably, in stress responses. These numerous and unrelated roles for poly P are probably the consequence of its presence in life-forms from early in evolution. The genomes of many bacterial species, including pathogens, encode a homologue of a major poly P synthetic enzyme, poly P kinase 1 (PPK1). Loss of PPK1 results in reduced poly P levels, and deletion of the ppk1 gene in pathogens also results in a loss of virulence towards protozoa and animals. Thus far, no PPK1 homologue has been identified in higher-order eukaryotes and, therefore, PPK1 exhibits potential as a novel target for chemotherapy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center