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Contact-dependent growth inhibition induces high levels of antibiotic-tolerant persister cells in clonal bacterial populations
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Microbiology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Molecular Systems Biology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Microbiology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2480-563
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology.
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2018 (English)In: EMBO Journal, ISSN 0261-4189, E-ISSN 1460-2075, Vol. 37, no 9, article id UNSP e98026Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Bacterial populations can use bet-hedging strategies to cope with rapidly changing environments. One example is non-growing cells in clonal bacterial populations that are able to persist antibiotic treatment. Previous studies suggest that persisters arise in bacterial populations either stochastically through variation in levels of global signalling molecules between individual cells, or in response to various stresses. Here, we show that toxins used in contact-dependent growth inhibition (CDI) create persisters upon direct contact with cells lacking sufficient levels of CdiI immunity protein, which would otherwise bind to and neutralize toxin activity. CDI-mediated persisters form through a feedforward cycle where the toxic activity of the CdiA toxin increases cellular (p)ppGpp levels, which results in Lon-mediated degradation of the immunity protein and more free toxin. Thus, CDI systems mediate a population density-dependent bet-hedging strategy, where the fraction of non-growing cells is increased only when there are many cells of the same genotype. This may be one of the mechanisms of how CDI systems increase the fitness of their hosts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
WILEY , 2018. Vol. 37, no 9, article id UNSP e98026
Keywords [en]
bet-hedging, contact-dependent growth inhibition, persisters, toxin
National Category
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-356400DOI: 10.15252/embj.201798026ISI: 000431279400003PubMedID: 29572241OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-356400DiVA, id: diva2:1235426
Funder
Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research Swedish Research CouncilEU, European Research Council
Note

Anirban Ghosh and Özden Baltekin contributed equally to this work.

Available from: 2018-07-25 Created: 2018-07-25 Last updated: 2019-05-13Bibliographically approved

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Ghosh, AnirbanBaltekin, ÖzdenWäneskog, MarcusLarsson, DisaElf, JohanKoskiniemi, Sanna

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