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Cell. 2014 Apr 24;157(3):539-48. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2014.02.050.

Molecular mechanisms underlying bacterial persisters.

Author information

1
Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology, Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences, Newcastle University, Richardson Road, NE2 4AX Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.
2
Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology, Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences, Newcastle University, Richardson Road, NE2 4AX Newcastle upon Tyne, UK; Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Ole Maaløes Vej 5, 2200 Copenhagen, Denmark. Electronic address: kenn.gerdes@ncl.ac.uk.

Abstract

All bacteria form persisters, cells that are multidrug tolerant and therefore able to survive antibiotic treatment. Due to the low frequencies of persisters in growing bacterial cultures and the complex underlying molecular mechanisms, the phenomenon has been challenging to study. However, recent technological advances in microfluidics and reporter genes have improved this scenario. Here, we summarize recent progress in the field, revealing the ubiquitous bacterial stress alarmone ppGpp as an emerging central regulator of multidrug tolerance and persistence, both in stochastically and environmentally induced persistence. In several different organisms, toxin-antitoxin modules function as effectors of ppGpp-induced persistence.

PMID:
24766804
DOI:
10.1016/j.cell.2014.02.050
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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