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It is unclear whether the transfer of plasmids carrying antibiotic resistance genes can explain their persistence when antibiotics are not present. Here, Lopatkin et al. show that conjugal plasmids, even when costly, are indeed transferred at sufficiently high rates to be maintained in the absence of antibiotics.
The RNA-binding protein CsrA regulates the expression of hundreds of bacterial genes. Here, Potts et al. use several approaches to assess the contribution of CsrA to global gene expression in E. coli, revealing new binding targets and physiological roles such as in envelope function and iron homeostasis.
Transcription factors MarR and MarA confer multidrug resistance in enteric bacteria by modulating efflux pump and porin expression. Here, Sharma et al. show that MarA also upregulates genes required for lipid trafficking and DNA repair, thus reducing antibiotic entry and quinolone-induced DNA damage.
Fast-growing bacteria produce many proteins in excess of what seems optimal for exponential growth. Here, the authors present a mathematical model and experimental evidence supporting that this overexpression serves as a strategic reserve to quickly meet demand upon sudden improvement in growth conditions.
Recent work finds that reactive oxygen species are generated in cells starved for the nucleobase thymine and contribute to DNA-destructive “thymineless death” mechanisms, which underlie the activities of many drugs, including trimethoprim and sulfa-based antibiotics. Such mechanisms may also apply to cells across the tree of life.
A recent study revealed how H. pylori opens cell-to-cell junctions and traverses the gastric epithelium to bind to basolateral integrins, thereby activating the assembly and function of its type IV secretion system.