Table of contents

Editorial: Less talk, more action

p295 | doi:10.1038/nrmicro3025

The publication of the second volume of England's annual health report has increased pressure to prioritize strategies to tackle the antibiotic resistance crisis.


Research Highlights

Immune evasion: UL141 keeps HCMV in charge | PDF (227 KB)

p297 | doi:10.1038/nrmicro3018

The human cytomegalovirus protein UL141 interacts with the host proteins TRAILR1 and TRAILR2 to dampen antiviral signalling.

Antimicrobials: Fat chance for influenza | PDF (174 KB)

p298 | doi:10.1038/nrmicro3012

The lipid mediator PD1 protects against lethal influenza infection by inhibiting viral replication.

Antimicrobials: Mismatch excels when ampicillin runs low | PDF (137 KB)

p298 | doi:10.1038/nrmicro3017

Exposure of bacteria to subinhibitory concentrations of antibiotics induces mutagenesis by an RpoS-regulated pathway that results in reduced replication fidelity.

In the news

New vaccine promise | PDF (74 KB)

p298 | doi:10.1038/nrmicro3019

Fungal pathogenesis: Good copper, bad copper | PDF (318 KB)

p299 | doi:10.1038/nrmicro3013

Cryptococcus neoformans detoxifies copper to avoid an antimicrobial host response.

Phage biology: Phages level the playing field | PDF (180 KB)

p300 | doi:10.1038/nrmicro3008

The first report of a phage-encoded CRISPR–Cas system that deactivates an unrelated anti-phage system in Vibrio cholerae.

Bacterial virulence: IpaJ trims the fat | PDF (101 KB)

p300 | doi:10.1038/nrmicro3023

Shigella flexneri disrupts host protein N-myristoylation to interfere with Golgi-mediated cargo sorting and secretion.

Biofilms: Biofilm microanatomy | PDF (187 KB)

p300 | doi:10.1038/nrmicro3024

A new paper in mBio provides unprecedented insight into the structural and physiological complexity of Escherichia coli macrocolony biofilms.

In brief

Techniques and applications: An impure “pure culture” | PDF (88 KB)

p301 | doi:10.1038/nrmicro3021

Viral therapeutics: Antisense therapy makes sense for HCV | PDF (88 KB)

p301 | doi:10.1038/nrmicro3022


News and Analysis

Genome watch

Microbial genomes as cheat sheets | PDF (192 KB)

p302 | doi:10.1038/nrmicro3014

This month's Genome Watch describes how horizontal gene transfer from bacteria and archaea has allowed an alga to live in extreme environments.

Erratum: Ready, aim, fire!

Lucie Wootton

p301 | doi:10.1038/nrmicro3020



Bacterial replication, transcription and translation: mechanistic insights from single-molecule biochemical studies

Andrew Robinson & Antoine M. van Oijen

p303 | doi:10.1038/nrmicro2994

In vitro single-molecule technologies have emerged as powerful tools for the study of complex biological phenomena. Here, Robinson and van Oijen summarize the latest insights that fluorescence-based single-molecule studies have provided for DNA replication, transcription and translation in bacterial cells.

Exploitation of eukaryotic subcellular targeting mechanisms by bacterial effectors

Stuart W. Hicks & Jorge E. Galán

p316 | doi:10.1038/nrmicro3009

Many bacterial species have evolved specialized secretion systems that deliver effector proteins into host cells in order to promote bacterial survival and replication. To exert their functions in a spatially coordinated manner, effector proteins must be accurately targeted to specific subcellular compartments. Here, Hicks and Galán review how bacterial effectors exploit the host cell machinery involved in processes such as lipidation and ubiquitylation to accurately target the biochemical activities of these effectors within the host cell.

The role of mutational robustness in RNA virus evolution

Adam S. Lauring, Judith Frydman & Raul Andino

p327 | doi:10.1038/nrmicro3003

RNA viruses have extremely high mutation rates, which are crucial for the ability of these viruses to adapt but can also lead to population extinction. Here, Andino and colleagues describe the mechanisms that RNA viruses use to cope with the high mutational load and discuss the impact of mutational robustness on population dynamics, pathogenicity and antiviral therapies.

Going local: technologies for exploring bacterial microenvironments

Aimee K. Wessel, Laura Hmelo, Matthew R. Parsek & Marvin Whiteley

p337 | doi:10.1038/nrmicro3010

Microorganisms can form complex, spatially organized communities that are coordinated by both physical and chemical intercellular interactions, as well as by other molecules present in the surrounding environment. Here, Whiteley and colleagues describe a number of microscale techniques for reproducing small bacterial communities in the laboratory. They also discuss the analytical tools available to monitor the impact of spatial organization on both bacterial behaviour and the generation of phenotypic heterogeneity.




Genome architecture and global gene regulation in bacteria: making progress towards a unified model?

Charles J. Dorman

p349 | doi:10.1038/nrmicro3007

The bacterial nucleoid was first described more than 50 years ago, but the recent application of new imaging technologies and physical analytical methods has brought fresh insights to the structure of the DNA within the nucleoid. Here, Charles Dorman discusses these insights and argues that, in addition to DNA topology and nucleoid-associated proteins, gene regulation is an important organizing principle of nucleoid architecture.