Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Inner 'clockwork' sets the time for cell division in bacteria


The ability of pathogens to multiply in the host is crucial for the spread of infections. The speed of bacterial division greatly depends on the environmental conditions. Under unfavorable conditions, such as nutrient deficiency, bacteria tend to pause after division and reproduce more slowly. But how do bacteria know, when it is time to enter the next round of cell division?

A team at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel, led by Prof. Urs Jenal has now identified a central switch for reproduction in the model bacterium Caulobacter crescentus: the signaling molecule c-di-GMP.


Under favorable living conditions, newborn bacteria begin to produce the signaling molecule -- this starts the clock ticking. The initially low c-di-GMP level activates a first kinase. This activates the expression of over 100 genes, which drive the cell towards division and boost the production of c-di-GMP.


The resulting peak levels of c-di-GMP finally stimulate the last wheel of the machinery, also a kinase.

See:

Andreas Kaczmarczyk, Antje M. Hempel, Christoph von Arx, Raphael Böhm, Badri N. Dubey, Jutta Nesper, Tilman Schirmer, Sebastian Hiller, Urs Jenal. Precise timing of transcription by c-di-GMP coordinates cell cycle and morphogenesis in Caulobacter. Nature Communications, 2020; 11 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-14585-6

Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle, Pharmaceutical Microbiology Resources (http://www.pharmamicroresources.com/)

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