An intracellular compass spatially coordinates cell cycle modules in Caulobacter crescentus.
Abstract Cellular functions in Bacteria, such as chromosome segregation and cytokinesis, result from cascades of molecular events operating largely as self-contained modules. Regulated timing of these cellular modules stems from global genetic circuits that allow precise temporal activation with respect to cell cycle progression and cell differentiation. Critically, many of these functions occur at defined locations within the cell, and therefore regulators of each module must communicate to remain coordinated in space. In this perspective, we highlight recent discoveries in Caulobacter crescentus asymmetric cell ...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - August 8, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Lasker K, Mann TH, Shapiro L Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Building the bacterial cell wall at the pole.
Abstract Polar growth is the predominant mode of cell wall extension in the Actinobacteria and the alphaproteobacterial clade Rhizobiales. The observation of polar elongation in taxonomically diverse bacteria suggests that polar growth may have evolved independently. Indeed, the regulatory mechanisms governing the assembly of cell wall biosynthesis machinery at the pole are distinct in the Actinobacteria and Rhizobiales. Here we highlight recent advances in our understanding of polar growth mechanisms in bacteria, with an emphasis on Streptomyces and Agrobacterium. This review illustrates that common themes are em...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - August 5, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Howell M, Brown PJ Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Cell biology of corn smut disease-Ustilago maydis as a model for biotrophic interactions.
Abstract Ustilago maydis is a well-established model system for biotrophic fungal plant pathogens. The fungus has a dimorphic life cycle with a yeast-like saprophytic phase switching to filamentous, pathogenic growth upon hyphal fusion. Due to its highly differentiated development and the amenability for reverse-genetics U. maydis provides a model system for both fungal cell biology as well as the study of biotrophic plant interaction. The present article highlights key findings in different aspects of cell biology on the corn smut disease and provides an outlook on the most intriguing open questions. PMID: 2...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - August 5, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Matei A, Doehlemann G Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Functional requirements of cellular differentiation: lessons from Bacillus subtilis.
Abstract Successful execution of differentiation programs requires cells to assess multitudes of internal and external cues and respond with appropriate gene expression programs. Here, we review how Bacillus subtilis sporulation network deals with these tasks focusing on the lessons generalizable to other systems. With feedforward loops controlling both production and activation of downstream transcriptional regulators, cells achieve ultrasensitive threshold-like responses. The arrangement of sporulation network genes on the chromosome and transcriptional feedback loops allow coordination of sporulation decision w...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - August 4, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Narula J, Fujita M, Igoshin OA Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

An up-date on Giardia and giardiasis.
SG Abstract Giardia intestinalis is a non-invasive protozoan parasite infecting the upper small intestine causing acute, watery diarrhea or giardiasis in 280 million people annually. Asymptomatic infections are equally common and recent data have suggested that infections even can be protective against other diarrheal diseases. Most symptomatic infections resolve spontaneously but infections can lead to chronic disease and treatment failures are becoming more common world-wide. Giardia infections can also result in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and food allergies after resolution. Until recently not much was kno...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - August 4, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Einarsson E, Ma'ayeh S, Svärd SG Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Cell division of Streptococcus pneumoniae: think positive!
Abstract Bacterial cell division is achieved by a dynamic protein complex called the divisome. The accurate placement of the divisome, and more specifically that of the tubulin-like protein FtsZ which forms the contractile Z-ring at mid-cell, is finely regulated by different mechanisms tailored to each bacterial class. To give rise to two viable daughter cells with the same genetic heritage and cell shape, Streptococcus pneumoniae uses an original system that relies on the membrane protein MapZ. This system is required for identifying the division site as well as positioning the Z-ring at mid-cell. In addition, Ma...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - August 2, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Garcia PS, Simorre JP, Brochier-Armanet C, Grangeasse C Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

The motility of Entamoeba histolytica: finding ways to understand intestinal amoebiasis.
Abstract The pathogenic amoeba Entamoeba histolytica is able to migrate within various compartments of the human body. The present article reviews progress in understanding the mechanisms of cell motility in E. histolytica during human intestinal invasion and, in particular, how the three-dimensional characteristics of the environment regulate the parasite's behaviour. The amoeboid mode of migration that applies to E. histolytica's displacements on two-dimensional surfaces is also expected to apply to the three-dimensional environment in the human intestine although several unknown, distinct modalities may be invo...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - August 2, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Aguilar-Rojas A, Olivo-Marin JC, Guillen N Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Biogenesis of the Gram-positive bacterial cell envelope.
Abstract The Gram-positive cell envelope serves as a molecular platform for surface display of capsular polysaccharides, wall teichoic acids (WTAs), lipoteichoic acids (LTAs), lipoproteins, surface proteins and pili. WTAs, LTAs, and sortase-assembled pili are a few features that make the Gram-positive cell envelope distinct from the Gram-negative counterpart. Interestingly, a set of LytR-CpsA-Psr family proteins, found in all Gram-positives but limited to a minority of Gram-negative organisms, plays divergent functions, while decorating the cell envelope with glycans. Furthermore, a phylum of Gram-positive bacteri...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - August 2, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Siegel SD, Liu J, Ton-That H Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Overloaded and stressed: whole-cell considerations for bacterial synthetic biology.
Abstract The predictability and robustness of engineered bacteria depend on the many interactions between synthetic constructs and their host cells. Expression from synthetic constructs is an unnatural load for the host that typically reduces growth, triggers stresses and leads to decrease in performance or failure of engineered cells. Work in systems and synthetic biology has now begun to address this through new tools, methods and strategies that characterise and exploit host-construct interactions in bacteria. Focusing on work in E. coli, we review here a selection of the recent developments in this area, ...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - August 1, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Borkowski O, Ceroni F, Stan GB, Ellis T Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Current state and challenges for dynamic metabolic modeling.
SA Abstract While the stoichiometry of metabolism is probably the best studied cellular level, the dynamics in metabolism can still not be well described, predicted and, thus, engineered. Unknowns in the metabolic flux behavior arise from kinetic interactions, especially allosteric control mechanisms. While the stoichiometry of enzymes is preserved in vitro, their activity and kinetic behavior differs from the in vivo situation. Next to this challenge, it is infeasible to test the interaction of each enzyme with each intracellular metabolite in vitro exhaustively. As a consequence, the whole interacting metabolom...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 25, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Vasilakou E, Machado D, Theorell A, Rocha I, Nöh K, Oldiges M, Wahl SA Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Sensing new chemicals with bacterial transcription factors.
on JL Abstract Bacteria rely on allosteric transcription factors (aTFs) to sense a wide range of chemicals. The variety of effectors has contributed in making aTFs the most used input system in synthetic biological circuits. Considering their enabling role in biotechnology, an important question concerns the size of the chemical space that can potentially be detected by these biosensors. From digging into the ever changing repertoire of natural regulatory circuits, to advances in aTF engineering, we review here different strategies that are pushing the boundaries of this chemical space. We also review natural and ...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 25, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Libis V, Delépine B, Faulon JL Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

System-level genome editing in microbes.
fai G, Fehér T Abstract The release of the first complete microbial genome sequences at the end of the past century opened the way for functional genomics and systems-biology to uncover the genetic basis of various phenotypes. The surge of available sequence data facilitated the development of novel genome editing techniques for system-level analytical studies. Recombineering allowed unprecedented throughput and efficiency in microbial genome editing and the recent discovery and widespread use of RNA-guided endonucleases offered several further perspectives: (i) previously recalcitrant species became editab...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 25, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Csörgő B, Nyerges Á, Pósfai G, Fehér T Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Connecting chromosome replication with cell growth in bacteria.
Abstract For bacteria to proliferate they must duplicate their genetic material so that it can be passed to their progeny. This requires that DNA replication is coordinated with cell growth and division. In the natural environment bacterial growth is dynamic and strongly influenced by changes in nutrient availability. Recent studies have found that bacteria utilize a range of regulatory systems, many of them species-specific, to coordinate DNA replication with cell growth. This variability likely reflects the diverse lifestyles of different bacterial types. PMID: 27469316 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 24, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Murray H Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Targeting cell membrane adaptation as a novel antimicrobial strategy.
Abstract Emergence of antibiotic resistance is an example of the incredible plasticity of bacteria to survive in all environments. The search for new antibiotics active against traditional targets is more challenging due not only to the lack of novel natural products to fulfill the current clinical needs against multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacteria, but also for the possible 'collateral' effects on the human microbiota. Thus, non-traditional approaches to combat MDR bacteria have been proposed. Here, we discuss the possibility of targeting the membrane response to the antibiotic attack (cell membrane adaptation) as ...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 22, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Tran TT, Miller WR, Shamoo Y, Arias CA Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Just in case it rains: building a hydrophobic biofilm the Bacillus subtilis way.
Abstract Over the millennia, diverse species of bacteria have evolved multiple independent mechanisms to structure sessile biofilm communities that confer protection and stability to the inhabitants. The Gram-positive soil bacterium Bacillus subtilis biofilm presents as an architecturally complex, highly hydrophobic community that resists wetting by water, solvents, and biocides. This remarkable property is conferred by a small secreted protein called BslA, which self-assembles into an organized lattice at an interface. In the biofilm, production of BslA is tightly regulated and the resultant protein is secreted i...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 22, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Arnaouteli S, MacPhee CE, Stanley-Wall NR Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Amino acid biosynthetic routes as drug targets for pulmonary fungal pathogens: what is known and why do we need to know more?
Abstract Amongst 1.5 million fatal mycoses of humans occurring annually [1], the vast majority involve the human lung as the primary site of pathogenesis, and are derived from organisms which occupy environmental niches. On entry into the respiratory system pathogenic fungi must draw upon metabolic versatility for survival and proliferation as the mammalian lung is a nutritionally limiting environment. The nutritional stresses encountered have exposed vulnerabilities which have long been viewed as potential antifungal targets, since humans lack several of the metabolic pathways which fungi rely upon for pathogenic...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 21, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Amich J, Bignell E Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Sulfate reduction in microorganisms-recent advances and biotechnological applications.
t C Abstract Sulfur, the least common of the five macroelements, plays an important role in biochemistry due to its ability to be easily reduced or oxidized, leading to a great amount of research concerning sulfur bioconversion. Interestingly, new studies concerning microbial sulfate reduction pathways in the last half decade have become increasingly sparse, indicating that most of the pathways involved have been discovered and studied. Despite this, systems biology approaches to model these pathways are often missing or not used. As the products of microbial sulfate reduction play important roles in the environme...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 21, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Rückert C Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Filling holes in peptidoglycan biogenesis of Escherichia coli.
Abstract The peptidoglycan cell wall is an essential mesh-like structure in most bacteria. It is built outside the cytoplasmic membrane by polymerizing a disaccharide-pentapeptide into glycan chains that are crosslinked by peptides. The disaccharide-pentapeptide is synthetized as a lipid-linked precursor called lipid II, which is exported across the cytoplasmic membrane so that synthases can make new glycan chains. Growth of the peptidoglycan wall requires careful balancing of synthesis of glycan chains and hydrolysis of the preexisting structure to allow incorporation of new material. Recent studies in Escherichi...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 20, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Ruiz N Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Where are things inside a bacterial cell?
Abstract Bacterial cells are intricately organized, despite the lack of membrane-bounded organelles. The extremely crowded cytoplasm promotes macromolecular self-assembly and formation of distinct subcellular structures, which perform specialized functions. For example, the cell poles act as hubs for signal transduction complexes, thus providing a platform for the coordination of optimal cellular responses to environmental cues. Distribution of macromolecules is mostly mediated via specialized transport machineries, including the MreB cytoskeleton. Recent evidence shows that RNAs also specifically localize within ...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 19, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Govindarajan S, Amster-Choder O Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Recognizing and engineering digital-like logic gates and switches in gene regulatory networks.
Abstract A central aim of synthetic biology is to build organisms that can perform useful activities in response to specified conditions. The digital computing paradigm which has proved so successful in electrical engineering is being mapped to synthetic biological systems to allow them to make such decisions. However, stochastic molecular processes have graded input-output functions, thus, bioengineers must select those with desirable characteristics and refine their transfer functions to build logic gates with digital-like switching behaviour. Recent efforts in genome mining and the development of programmable R...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 18, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Bradley RW, Buck M, Wang B Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Editorial overview: The fungal infection arena in animal and plant hosts: dynamics at the interface.
PMID: 27422760 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology)
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 11, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Thomma BP, Bignell E Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Antimicrobial photodynamic inactivation: a bright new technique to kill resistant microbes.
Abstract Photodynamic therapy (PDT) uses photosensitizers (non-toxic dyes) that are activated by absorption of visible light to form reactive oxygen species (including singlet oxygen) that can oxidize biomolecules and destroy cells. Antimicrobial photodynamic inactivation (aPDI) can treat localized infections. aPDI neither causes any resistance to develop in microbes, nor is affected by existing drug resistance status. We discuss some recent developments in aPDI. New photosensitizers including polycationic conjugates, stable synthetic bacteriochlorins and functionalized fullerenes are described. The microbial kill...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 11, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Hamblin MR Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

The expanding regulatory network of STING-mediated signaling.
Abstract The identification and characterization of DNA-sensing pathways has been a subject of intensive investigation for the last decade. This interest, in part, is supported by the fact that the main outcome of DNA-responses is production of type I interferon (IFN-I), which, if produced in excessive amounts, leads to various pathologies. STING (stimulator of interferon genes) is positioned in the center of these responses and is activated either via direct sensing of second messengers or via interaction with upstream sensors of dsDNA. STING mediates responses to pathogens as well as host-derived DNA and is, the...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - July 10, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Surpris G, Poltorak A Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Engineering membrane and cell-wall programs for tolerance to toxic chemicals: Beyond solo genes.
Abstract Metabolite toxicity in microbes, particularly at the membrane, remains a bottleneck in the production of fuels and chemicals. Under chemical stress, native adaptation mechanisms combat hyper-fluidization by modifying the phospholipids in the membrane. Recent work in fluxomics reveals the mechanism of how membrane damage negatively affects energy metabolism while lipidomic and transcriptomic analyses show that strains evolved to be tolerant maintain membrane fluidity under stress through a variety of mechanisms such as incorporation of cyclopropanated fatty acids, trans-unsaturated fatty acids, and upregul...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - June 30, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Sandoval NR, Papoutsakis ET Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Antisense antimicrobial therapeutics.
Abstract Antisense antimicrobial therapeutics are synthetic oligomers that silence expression of specific genes. This specificity confers an advantage over broad-spectrum antibiotics by avoiding unintended effects on commensal bacteria. The sequence-specificity and short length of antisense antimicrobials also pose little risk to human gene expression. Because antisense antimicrobials are a platform technology, they can be rapidly designed and synthesized to target almost any microbe. This reduces drug discovery time, and provides flexibility and a rational approach to drug development. Recent work has shown that ...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - June 28, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Sully EK, Geller BL Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Editorial overview: Host-microbe interactions: parasites: How eukaryotic parasites meet the challenges of life in a host.
PMID: 27372032 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology)
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - June 28, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Burleigh BA, Boothroyd JC Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Alarmin(g) the innate immune system to invasive fungal infections.
Abstract Fungi encounter numerous stresses in a mammalian host, including the immune system, which they must adapt to in order to grow and cause disease. The host immune system tunes its response to the threat level posed by the invading pathogen. We discuss recent findings on how interleukin (IL)-1 signaling is central to tuning the immune response to the virulence potential of invasive fungi, as well as other pathogens. Moreover, we discuss fungal factors that may drive tissue invasion and destruction that regulate IL-1 cytokine release. Moving forward understanding the mechanisms of fungal adaption to the host,...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - June 24, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Caffrey AK, Obar JJ Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

The roles of zinc and copper sensing in fungal pathogenesis.
Abstract All organisms must secure essential trace nutrients, including iron, zinc, manganese and copper for survival and proliferation. However, these very nutrients are also highly toxic if present at elevated levels. Mammalian immunity has harnessed both the essentiality and toxicity of micronutrients to defend against microbial invasion-processes known collectively as 'nutritional immunity'. Therefore, pathogenic microbes must possess highly effective micronutrient assimilation and detoxification mechanisms to survive and proliferate within the infected host. In this review we compare and contrast the micronut...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - June 17, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Ballou ER, Wilson D Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Considerations and caveats in anti-virulence drug development.
Abstract As antibiotic resistance remains a major public health threat, anti-virulence therapy research is gaining interest. Hundreds of potential anti-virulence compounds have been examined, but very few have made it to clinical trials and none have been approved. This review surveys the current anti-virulence research field with a focus on the highly resistant and deadly ESKAPE pathogens, especially Pseudomonas aeruginosa. We discuss timely considerations and caveats in anti-virulence drug development, including target identification, administration, preclinical development, and metrics for success in clinical t...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - June 15, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Maura D, Ballok AE, Rahme LG Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Anti-biofilm peptides as a new weapon in antimicrobial warfare.
Abstract Microorganisms growing in a biofilm state are very resilient in the face of treatment by many antimicrobial agents. Biofilm infections are a significant problem in chronic and long-term infections, including those colonizing medical devices and implants. Anti-biofilm peptides represent a very promising approach to treat biofilm-related infections and have an extraordinary ability to interfere with various stages of the biofilm growth mode. Anti-biofilm peptides possess promising broad-spectrum activity in killing both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria in biofilms, show strong synergy with conventio...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - June 14, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Pletzer D, Coleman SR, Hancock RE Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Gene silencing and sex determination by programmed DNA elimination in parasitic nematodes.
Abstract Maintenance of genome integrity is essential. However, programmed DNA elimination removes specific DNA sequences from the genome during development. DNA elimination occurs in unicellular ciliates and diverse metazoa ranging from nematodes to vertebrates. Two distinct groups of nematodes use DNA elimination to silence germline-expressed genes in the soma (ascarids) or for sex determination (Strongyloides spp.). Data suggest that DNA elimination likely evolved independently in these nematodes. Recent studies indicate that differential CENP-A deposition within chromosomes defines which sequences are retained...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - June 13, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Streit A, Wang J, Kang Y, Davis RE Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Innate immune evasion strategies of DNA and RNA viruses.
Abstract Upon infection, both DNA and RNA viruses can be sensed by pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) in the cytoplasm or the nucleus to activate antiviral innate immunity. Sensing of viral products leads to the activation of a signaling cascade that ultimately results in transcriptional activation of type I and III interferons, as well as other antiviral genes that together mediate viral clearance and inhibit viral spread. Therefore, in order for viruses to replicate and spread efficiently, they must inhibit the host signaling pathways that induce the innate antiviral immune response. In this review, we will hi...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - June 7, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Beachboard DC, Horner SM Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Dissecting endophytic lifestyle along the parasitism/mutualism continuum in Arabidopsis.
Abstract Mutualistic interactions between plants and fungi often occur in the rhizosphere, although examples exist where shoot-endophytes support host growth and increase resistance to pathogens and herbivores. Fungal endophytes which colonize their hosts without any visible disease symptoms have been recognized to be fundamental components of various ecosystems. Initial efforts have been taken to decipher the genetic basis of beneficial plant-fungus interactions and of lifestyle transitions. This review gives a short overview on well established experimental systems amenable to genetic manipulation and of known g...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - June 5, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Fesel PH, Zuccaro A Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Malaria vaccines and human immune responses.
Abstract Despite reductions in malaria episodes and deaths over the past decade, there is still significant need for more effective tools to combat this serious global disease. The positive results with the Phase III trial of RTS,S directed to the circumsporozoite protein of Plasmodium falciparum have established that a vaccine against malaria can provide partial protection to children in endemic areas, but its limited efficacy and relatively short window of protection mandate that new generations of more efficacious vaccines must be sought. Evidence shows that anti-parasite immune responses can control infection ...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - June 1, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Long CA, Zavala F Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Old dogs and new tricks in antimicrobial discovery.
Abstract The discovery of new antibiotics is crucial if we are to avoid a future in which simple infections once again lead to death. New antibiotics were traditionally discovered by analyzing extracts from cultured soil-derived microbes. However, in the last few years only a few new antibiotic classes have been identified using this method. Attempts to apply target-based screening approaches to antibiotic discovery have also proven to be unproductive. In this article, we describe how DNA sequencing and bioinformatic techniques are revolutionizing natural product discovery leading to new natural product antibiotic...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - June 1, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Butler MS, Blaskovich MA, Owen JG, Cooper MA Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Virulence factors in fungal pathogens of man.
Abstract Human fungal pathogens are a commonly underestimated cause of severe diseases associated with high morbidity and mortality. Like other pathogens, their survival and growth in the host, as well as subsequent host damage, is thought to be mediated by virulence factors which set them apart from harmless microbes. In this review, we describe and discuss commonly employed strategies for fungal survival and growth in the host and how these affect the host-fungus interactions to lead to disease. While many of these strategies require host-specific virulence factors, more generally any fitness factor which allows...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - May 30, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Brunke S, Mogavero S, Kasper L, Hube B Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Cell wall hydrolases and antibiotics: exploiting synergy to create efficacious new antimicrobial treatments.
Abstract Cell wall hydrolases (CWH) are enzymes that build, remodel and degrade peptidoglycan within bacterial cell walls and serve essential roles in cell-wall metabolism, bacteriophage adsorption and bacteriolysis, environmental niche expansion, as well as eukaryotic innate immune defense against bacterial infection. Some CWHs, when tested as recombinant purified proteins, have been shown to have bactericidal activities both as single agents and in combinations with other antimicrobials, displaying synergies in vitro and potent activities in animal models of infection greater than the single agents alone. We sum...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - May 30, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Wittekind M, Schuch R Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

(+) RNA virus replication compartments: a safe home for (most) viral replication.
Abstract This review describes recent advances in our understanding of the mechanisms by which (+) RNA viruses establish their replication niche. PMID: 27253151 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology)
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - May 29, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Shulla A, Randall G Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

The oxadiazole antibacterials.
Abstract The oxadiazoles are a class of antibacterials discovered by in silico docking and scoring of compounds against the X-ray structure of a penicillin-binding protein. These antibacterials exhibit activity against Gram-positive bacteria, including against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE). They show in vivo efficacy in murine models of peritonitis/sepsis and neutropenic thigh MRSA infection. They are bactericidal and orally bioavailable. The oxadiazoles show promise in treatment of MRSA infection. PMID: 27239942 [PubMed - as supplied by publish...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - May 26, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Janardhanan J, Chang M, Mobashery S Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Microbial interactions and community assembly at microscales.
Abstract In most environments, microbial interactions take place within microscale cell aggregates. At the scale of these aggregates (∼100μm), interactions are likely to be the dominant driver of population structure and dynamics. In particular, organisms that exploit interspecific interactions to increase ecological performance often co-aggregate. Conversely, organisms that antagonize each other will tend to spatially segregate, creating distinct micro-communities and increased diversity at larger length scales. We argue that, in order to understand the role that biological interactions play in microbial c...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - May 23, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Cordero OX, Datta MS Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

The diversity of insect antiviral immunity: insights from viruses.
Abstract Insects represent over 70% of all animal species. Recent virome analyses reveal unprecedented genetic diversity of insect viruses, which appears to match that of their hosts. Thus, insect-virus interactions may provide information on a vast repertoire of antiviral immune mechanisms. Tapping into this diversity is challenging because of several constraints imposed by the uniqueness of each insect model. Nevertheless, it is clear that many conserved and divergent pathways participate in the control of viral infection in insects. Co-evolution between hosts and viruses favors the development of immune evasion...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - May 23, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Marques JT, Imler JL Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Extracellular vesicles are the Trojan horses of viral infection.
Abstract Extracellular vesicles have recently emerged as a novel mode of viral propagation exploited by both enveloped and non-enveloped viruses. In particular non-enveloped viruses utilize the hosts' production of extracellular vesicles to exit from cells non-lytically and to hide and manipulate the immune system. Moreover, challenging the long held idea that viruses behave as independent genetic units, extracellular vesicles enable multiple viral particles and genomes to collectively traffic in and out of cells, which can promote genetic cooperativity among viral quasispecies and enhance the fitness of the overa...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - May 23, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Altan-Bonnet N Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Optimization of a novel series of pyranopyridine RND efflux pump inhibitors.
Abstract The rise of multidrug resistant (MDR) Gram-negative pathogens complicates our ability to treat bacterial infections with antibiotics. MDR efflux pumps play a major role in the acquisition and expression of the MDR phenotype. The major MDR efflux pumps in Gram-negative pathogens are the resistance-nodulation-division (RND) superfamily pumps. Efflux pump inhibitors (EPIs) that target RND superfamily pumps could play an important role in the clinic as an adjunctive therapy to increase antibiotic efficacy, decrease resistance, and attenuate virulence in Gram-negative pathogens. Here, we review recent advances...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - May 23, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Aron Z, Opperman TJ Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Treatment of Gram-negative bacterial infections by potentiation of antibiotics.
Abstract Infections caused by antibiotic-resistant pathogens, particularly Gram-negative bacteria, represent significant treatment challenges for physicians resulting in high rates of morbidity and mortality. The outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria acts as a permeability barrier to many compounds that would otherwise be effective antibacterial agents, including those effective against Gram-positive pathogens. Potentiator molecules disrupt this barrier allowing entry of otherwise impermeant molecules, thus providing a strategy to render multi-drug resistant pathogens susceptible to a broader range of antibioti...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - May 23, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Zabawa TP, Pucci MJ, Parr TR, Lister T Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Emerging roles for extracellular vesicles in parasitic infections.
Abstract Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are released by cells and contain a complex mixture of proteins, genetic information and lipids. EVs mediate cell:cell communication by transferring their molecular cargo between cells. EVs, initially discovered in mammalian systems, have been demonstrated to play critical role in immunology and cancer biology. More recently, EVs have been identified in a broad range of both unicellular and multicellular parasites. In this review we focus on the emerging roles for EVs in parasitic infections. Parasite-derived EVs can transfer virulence factors and drug-resistance markers, modi...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - May 17, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Marti M, Johnson PJ Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Using metabolomics to dissect host-parasite interactions.
Abstract Protozoan parasites have evolved diverse growth and metabolic strategies for surviving and proliferating within different extracellular and intracellular niches in their mammalian hosts. Metabolomic approaches, including high coverage metabolite profiling and (13)C/(2)H-stable isotope labeling, are increasingly being used to identify parasite metabolic pathways that are important for survival and replication in vivo. These approaches are highlighting new links between parasite carbon metabolism and the ability of different parasite stages to colonize specific niches or host cell types. They have also reve...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - May 16, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Kloehn J, Blume M, Cobbold SA, Saunders EC, Dagley MJ, McConville MJ Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Editorial overview: Remapping the body of the world: Exploring interactions at the interface of microbial ecology, biological engineering and information science.
uez M PMID: 27199093 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology)
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - May 15, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Hallam SJ, Vásquez M Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

The bright side of microbial dark matter: lessons learned from the uncultivated majority.
Abstract Microorganisms are the most diverse and abundant life forms on Earth. Yet, in many environments, only 0.1-1% of them have been cultivated greatly hindering our understanding of the microbial world. However, today cultivation is no longer a requirement for gaining access to information from the uncultivated majority. New genomic information from metagenomics and single cell genomics has provided insights into microbial metabolic cooperation and dependence, generating new avenues for cultivation efforts. Here we summarize recent advances from uncultivated phyla and discuss how this knowledge has influenced ...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - May 15, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Solden L, Lloyd K, Wrighton K Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

The information science of microbial ecology.
Abstract A revolution is unfolding in microbial ecology where petabytes of 'multi-omics' data are produced using next generation sequencing and mass spectrometry platforms. This cornucopia of biological information has enormous potential to reveal the hidden metabolic powers of microbial communities in natural and engineered ecosystems. However, to realize this potential, the development of new technologies and interpretative frameworks grounded in ecological design principles are needed to overcome computational and analytical bottlenecks. Here we explore the relationship between microbial ecology and information...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - May 12, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Hahn AS, Konwar KM, Louca S, Hanson NW, Hallam SJ Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research

Gene expression in Kinetoplastids.
Abstract Kinetoplastid parasites adapt to different environments with wide-reaching control of gene expression, but transcription of nuclear protein-coding genes is polycistronic: there is no individual control of transcription initiation. Mature mRNAs are made by co-transcriptional trans splicing and polyadenylation, and competition between processing and nuclear degradation may contribute to regulation of mRNA levels. In the cytosol both the extent to which mRNAs are translated, and mRNA decay rates, vary enormously. I here highlight gaps in our knowledge: no measurements of transcription initiation or elongatio...
Source: Current Opinion in Microbiology - May 9, 2016 Category: Microbiology Authors: Clayton CE Tags: Curr Opin Microbiol Source Type: research