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Clin Sci (Lond). 2010 May 25;119(5):187-202. doi: 10.1042/CS20100041.

DNA repair systems and the pathogenesis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis: varying activities at different stages of infection.

Author information

1
Institute of Microbiology, Biotechnology and Immunology, University of Lodz, Lodz 90-231, Poland.

Abstract

Mycobacteria, including most of all MTB (Mycobacterium tuberculosis), cause pathogenic infections in humans and, during the infectious process, are exposed to a range of environmental insults, including the host's immune response. From the moment MTB is exhaled by infected individuals, through an active and latent phase in the body of the new host, until the time they reach the reactivation stage, MTB is exposed to many types of DNA-damaging agents. Like all cellular organisms, MTB has efficient DNA repair systems, and these are believed to play essential roles in mycobacterial pathogenesis. As different stages of infection have great variation in the conditions in which mycobacteria reside, it is possible that different repair systems are essential for progression to specific phases of infection. MTB possesses homologues of DNA repair systems that are found widely in other species of bacteria, such as nucleotide excision repair, base excision repair and repair by homologous recombination. MTB also possesses a system for non-homologous end-joining of DNA breaks, which appears to be widespread in prokaryotes, although its presence is sporadic within different species within a genus. However, MTB does not possess homologues of the typical mismatch repair system that is found in most bacteria. Recent studies have demonstrated that DNA repair genes are expressed differentially at each stage of infection. In the present review, we focus on different DNA repair systems from mycobacteria and identify questions that remain in our understanding of how these systems have an impact upon the infection processes of these important pathogens.

PMID:
20522025
DOI:
10.1042/CS20100041
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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