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Toxin-Antitoxin (TA) Systems in Stress Survival and Pathogenesis

  • Ashutosh Kumar
  • Anwar Alam
  • Pranami Bharadwaj
  • Sharmistha Tapadar
  • Mamta Rani
  • Seyed E. HasnainEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb), by virtue of its ability to evolve, has developed mechanisms that enable it to modulate its growth through regulation of replication, transcription, translation, generation of heterogeneous population of persister cells, etc. for survival in different stressful environment during its infection cycle. Toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are ubiquitous in prokaryotic genomes that enable them to survive in various unfavourable conditions. A toxin protein may inhibit the growth, whereas an antitoxin may neutralize the effect of toxin in different ways. TA systems are involved in stress adaptation, antimicrobial tolerance or resistance, modification in the physiological state of organisms, biofilms formation, growth regulation for survival, plasmid maintenance, anti-phage activities, virulence, and programmed cell death. Environmental microorganisms express a wider repertoire of TA systems as compared to intracellular human pathogens due to a higher probability to encounter different environmental stresses within their ecosystem. However, the presence of high level of TA systems in M.tb is due to the fact that M.tb has to endure several types of stresses including acidic, hypoxic, oxidative, and immune surveillance within the host for its survival. TA systems are also present in pathogenic bacteria infecting plants. Based on the mechanism of action, different types of TA systems are classified within the microorganisms. Recently, genes related to type II TA systems have been proposed to be useful in genotyping of tuberculosis caused by different strains of M.tb.

Keywords

Toxin-antitoxin systems Mycobacterium tuberculosis Stress survival Growth regulation Drug tolerance 

Abbreviations

ATP

Adenosine triphosphate

DATIN

Dormancy-associated translation inhibitor

DNA

Deoxyribonucleic acid

DR

Direct repeat

E. coli

Escherichia coli

IS

Insertion sequence

M.tb

Mycobacterium tuberculosis

mRNA

Messenger RNA

MTBC

M.tb complex

PCD

Programmed cell death

PSK

Post-segregational killing

SNPs

Single-nucleotide polymorphisms

sRNA

Small regulatory RNAs

TA

Toxin-antitoxin

TAC

Toxin-antitoxin-chaperone

Vap

Virulence-associated protein

VNTR

Variable number tandem repeats

Notes

Funding

This project has been funded by “UGC-BSR Research Start-Up-Grant project No. F. 30-487/2019(BSR) sanctioned to Ashutosh Kumar”

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ashutosh Kumar
    • 1
  • Anwar Alam
    • 2
    • 3
  • Pranami Bharadwaj
    • 1
  • Sharmistha Tapadar
    • 1
  • Mamta Rani
    • 4
  • Seyed E. Hasnain
    • 2
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of MicrobiologyTripura University (A Central University)AgartalaIndia
  2. 2.JH Institute of Molecular Medicine, Jamia HamdardNew DelhiIndia
  3. 3.Inflammation Biology and Cell Signaling LaboratoryICMR-National Institute of Pathology, Safdarjung Hospital CampusNew DelhiIndia
  4. 4.Plant Microbe Interactions LaboratoryNational Institute of Plant Genome ResearchNew DelhiIndia
  5. 5.Dr Reddy’s Institute of Life SciencesUniversity of Hyderabad CampusHyderabadIndia

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