Artificial activation of toxin-antitoxin systems as an antibacterial strategy

Julia J. Williams, Paul Hergenrother

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are unique modules that effect plasmid stabilization via post-segregational killing of the bacterial host. The genes encoding TA systems also exist on bacterial chromosomes, and it has been speculated that these are involved in a variety of cellular processes. Interest in TA systems has increased dramatically over the past 5 years as the ubiquitous nature of TA genes on bacterial genomes has been revealed. The exploitation of TA systems as an antibacterial strategy via artificial activation of the toxin has been proposed and has considerable potential; however, efforts in this area remain in the early stages and several major questions remain. This review investigates the tractability of targeting TA systems to kill bacteria, including fundamental requirements for success, recent advances, and challenges associated with artificial toxin activation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-298
Number of pages8
JournalTrends in Microbiology
Volume20
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2012

Fingerprint

Antitoxins
Bacterial Chromosomes
Bacterial Genomes
Genes
Plasmids
Bacteria

Keywords

  • Addiction modules
  • Antibiotics
  • Extracellular death factor
  • MazEF gene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology

Cite this

Artificial activation of toxin-antitoxin systems as an antibacterial strategy. / Williams, Julia J.; Hergenrother, Paul.

In: Trends in Microbiology, Vol. 20, No. 6, 01.06.2012, p. 291-298.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

@article{e2199cd305a24f829b472912588b240b,
title = "Artificial activation of toxin-antitoxin systems as an antibacterial strategy",
abstract = "Toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are unique modules that effect plasmid stabilization via post-segregational killing of the bacterial host. The genes encoding TA systems also exist on bacterial chromosomes, and it has been speculated that these are involved in a variety of cellular processes. Interest in TA systems has increased dramatically over the past 5 years as the ubiquitous nature of TA genes on bacterial genomes has been revealed. The exploitation of TA systems as an antibacterial strategy via artificial activation of the toxin has been proposed and has considerable potential; however, efforts in this area remain in the early stages and several major questions remain. This review investigates the tractability of targeting TA systems to kill bacteria, including fundamental requirements for success, recent advances, and challenges associated with artificial toxin activation.",
keywords = "Addiction modules, Antibiotics, Extracellular death factor, MazEF gene",
author = "Williams, {Julia J.} and Paul Hergenrother",
year = "2012",
month = "6",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.tim.2012.02.005",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "20",
pages = "291--298",
journal = "Trends in Microbiology",
issn = "0966-842X",
publisher = "Elsevier Limited",
number = "6",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Artificial activation of toxin-antitoxin systems as an antibacterial strategy

AU - Williams, Julia J.

AU - Hergenrother, Paul

PY - 2012/6/1

Y1 - 2012/6/1

N2 - Toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are unique modules that effect plasmid stabilization via post-segregational killing of the bacterial host. The genes encoding TA systems also exist on bacterial chromosomes, and it has been speculated that these are involved in a variety of cellular processes. Interest in TA systems has increased dramatically over the past 5 years as the ubiquitous nature of TA genes on bacterial genomes has been revealed. The exploitation of TA systems as an antibacterial strategy via artificial activation of the toxin has been proposed and has considerable potential; however, efforts in this area remain in the early stages and several major questions remain. This review investigates the tractability of targeting TA systems to kill bacteria, including fundamental requirements for success, recent advances, and challenges associated with artificial toxin activation.

AB - Toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are unique modules that effect plasmid stabilization via post-segregational killing of the bacterial host. The genes encoding TA systems also exist on bacterial chromosomes, and it has been speculated that these are involved in a variety of cellular processes. Interest in TA systems has increased dramatically over the past 5 years as the ubiquitous nature of TA genes on bacterial genomes has been revealed. The exploitation of TA systems as an antibacterial strategy via artificial activation of the toxin has been proposed and has considerable potential; however, efforts in this area remain in the early stages and several major questions remain. This review investigates the tractability of targeting TA systems to kill bacteria, including fundamental requirements for success, recent advances, and challenges associated with artificial toxin activation.

KW - Addiction modules

KW - Antibiotics

KW - Extracellular death factor

KW - MazEF gene

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84862783125&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84862783125&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.tim.2012.02.005

DO - 10.1016/j.tim.2012.02.005

M3 - Review article

C2 - 22445361

AN - SCOPUS:84862783125

VL - 20

SP - 291

EP - 298

JO - Trends in Microbiology

JF - Trends in Microbiology

SN - 0966-842X

IS - 6

ER -