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Int J Microbiol. 2010;2010:781430. doi: 10.1155/2010/781430. Epub 2010 Dec 27.

Recent advancements in toxin and antitoxin systems involved in bacterial programmed cell death.

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School of Life Science, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing 100086, China.

Abstract

Programmed cell death (PCD) systems have been extensively studied for their significant role in a variety of biological processes in eukaryotic organisms. Recently, more and more researches have revealed the existence of similar systems employed by bacteria in response to various environmental stresses. This paper summarized the recent researching advancements in toxin/antitoxin systems located on plasmids or chromosomes and their regulatory roles in bacterial PCD. The most studied yet disputed mazEF system was discussed in depth, and possible roles and status of such a special bacterial death and TA systems were also reviewed from the ecological and evolutionary perspectives.

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