Friday, February 18, 2011

Hot off the presses! Mar 01 Nat Rev Micro

The Mar 01 issue of the Nat Rev Micro is now up on Pubget (About Nat Rev Micro): if you're at a subscribing institution, just click the link in the latest link at the home page. (Note you'll only be able to get all the PDFs in the issue if your institution subscribes to Pubget.)

Latest Articles Include:

  • - Nat Rev Micro 9(3):145 (2011)

  • - Nat Rev Micro 9(3):146 (2011)
  • Parasitology: It takes II to induce NF-κB | PDF (168 KB)
    - Nat Rev Micro 9(3):147 (2011)
    Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular parasite that can infect a wide range of warm-blooded hosts by evading and subverting the immune response. There are three canonical strains of T. gondii
  • Symbiosis: Fungus seeks plant | PDF (160 KB)
    - Nat Rev Micro 9(3):148 (2011)
    Up to 90% of land plants form arbuscular mycorrhizal symbioses with glomeromycete fungi. These interactions provide the fungus with carbohydrates produced by the plant, and the plant with water and phosphate taken up by the fungus.
  • Viral immune evasion: NLR identity theft | PDF (162 KB)
    - Nat Rev Micro 9(3):148 (2011)
    Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) can cause lifelong latent infection in humans and, eventually, give rise to certain cancers. Gregory and colleagues now report that a previously uncharacterized KSHV protein inhibits inflammation and cell death by blocking formation of the inflammasome.
  • Synthetic biology | Symbiosis | Virology | PDF (154 KB)
    - Nat Rev Micro 9(3):148 (2011)
    De novo designed proteins from a library of artificial sequences function in Escherichia coli and enable cell growth Fisher, M. al. PLoS ONE 6, e15364 (2011)
  • Bacterial physiology: DynAmic membrane fusion | PDF (297 KB)
    - Nat Rev Micro 9(3):149 (2011)
    Members of the dynamin superfamily of GTPases are known to be mediators of membrane remodelling processes in eukaryotic cells. Many bacterial genomes also contain genes encoding dynamin-like proteins, but their function has remained unclear.
  • Protozoan ecology: Amoeba's agricultural revolution | PDF (176 KB)
    - Nat Rev Micro 9(3):150 (2011)
    The practice of agriculture, including the seeding, cultivation and harvesting of food crops, is not limited to humans and has been shown to be a feature of several members of the insect world. With the observation that the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum exhibits a primitive farming symbiosis that includes dispersal and harvesting of its bacterial food source, agriculture is clearly a feature of the microbial world too.
  • Microbial ecology: Strong fences make good neighbours | PDF (238 KB)
    - Nat Rev Micro 9(3):150 (2011)
    Outside of the laboratory, bacteria have to share their space and compete for nutrients with many other microorganisms, and they may therefore find it advantageous to perceive which neighbour is around and respond accordingly. Garbeva and colleagues report in the ISME Journal that bacteria may have a general response to the presence of competing microorganisms, as well as a variety of responses targeted to specific bacteria.
  • Bacterial physiology: All around the clock | PDF (191 KB)
    - Nat Rev Micro 9(3):151 (2011)
    The coexistence of photosynthesis and nitrogen fixation in marine unicellular cyanobacteria presents a challenge because of their high iron demands and also because the molecular oxygen generated by the first pathway inhibits the second. This conflict is apparently solved by an internal circadian clock which determines that nitrogen fixation is carried out only during the night, when photosynthesis is turned off.
  • In the news | PDF (189 KB)
    - Nat Rev Micro 9(3):152 (2011)
    Analysis of antibodies isolated from patients infected with pandemic H1N1 influenza virus has revealed that some patients produce highly unusual antibodies that are effective against multiple influenza strains, raising hopes for the development of a universal influenza vaccine. Research published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine showed that some swine flu patients produced antibodies that are broadly cross-reactive against epitopes in the head domain and the stalk of haemagglutinin (HA) from multiple flu strains, in contrast to antibodies generated in response to seasonal influenza, which tend to have more specific affinities.
  • Signal processing in complex chemotaxis pathways
    - Nat Rev Micro 9(3):153 (2011)
    Bacteria use chemotaxis to migrate towards environments that are better for growth. Chemoreceptors detect changes in attractant levels and signal through two-component systems to control swimming direction. This basic pathway is conserved across all chemotactic bacteria and archaea; however, recent work combining systems biology and genome sequencing has started to elucidate the additional complexity of the process in many bacterial species. This article focuses on one of the best understood complex networks, which is found in Rhodobacter sphaeroides and integrates sensory data about the external environment and the metabolic state of the cell to produce a balanced response at the flagellar motor.
  • Architects at the bacterial surface — sortases and the assembly of pili with isopeptide bonds
    - Nat Rev Micro 9(3):166 (2011)
    The cell wall envelope of Gram-positive bacteria can be thought of as a surface organelle for the assembly of macromolecular structures that enable the unique lifestyle of each microorganism. Sortases — enzymes that cleave the sorting signals of secreted proteins to form isopeptide (amide) bonds between the secreted proteins and peptidoglycan or polypeptides — function as the principal architects of the bacterial surface. Acting alone or with other sortase enzymes, sortase construction leads to the anchoring of surface proteins at specific sites in the envelope or to the assembly of pili, which are fibrous structures formed from many protein subunits. The catalysis of intermolecular isopeptide bonds between pilin subunits is intertwined with the assembly of intramolecular isopeptide bonds within pilin subunits. Together, these isopeptide bonds endow these sortase products with adhesive properties and resistance to host proteases.
  • Untapped potential: exploiting fungi in bioremediation of hazardous chemicals
    - Nat Rev Micro 9(3):177 (2011)
    Fungi possess the biochemical and ecological capacity to degrade environmental organic chemicals and to decrease the risk associated with metals, metalloids and radionuclides, either by chemical modification or by influencing chemical bioavailability. Furthermore, the ability of these fungi to form extended mycelial networks, the low specificity of their catabolic enzymes and their independence from using pollutants as a growth substrate make these fungi well suited for bioremediation processes. However, despite dominating the living biomass in soil and being abundant in aqueous systems, fungi have not been exploited for the bioremediation of such environments. In this Review, we describe the metabolic and ecological features that make fungi suited for use in bioremediation and waste treatment processes, and discuss their potential for applications on the basis of these strengths.
  • Expanding fungal pathogenesis: Cryptococcus breaks out of the opportunistic box
    - Nat Rev Micro 9(3):193 (2011)
    Cryptococcus neoformans is generally considered to be an opportunistic fungal pathogen because of its tendency to infect immunocompromised individuals, particularly those infected with HIV. However, this view has been challenged by the recent discovery of specialized interactions between the fungus and its mammalian hosts, and by the emergence of the related species Cryptococcus gattii as a primary pathogen of immunocompetent populations. In this Review, we highlight features of cryptococcal pathogens that reveal their adaptation to the mammalian environment. These features include not only remarkably sophisticated interactions with phagocytic cells to promote intracellular survival, dissemination to the central nervous system and escape, but also surprising morphological and genomic adaptations such as the formation of polyploid giant cells in the lung.
  • Towards a point-of-care test for active tuberculosis: obstacles and opportunities
    - Nat Rev Micro 9(3):204 (2011)
    Limited access to diagnostic services and the poor performance of current tests result in a failure to detect millions of tuberculosis cases each year. An accurate test that could be used at the point of care to allow faster initiation of treatment would decrease death rates and could reduce disease transmission. Previous attempts to develop such a test have failed, and success will require the marriage of biomarkers that are highly predictive for the disease with innovative technology that is reliable and affordable. Here, we review the status of research into point-of-care tests for active tuberculosis and discuss barriers to the development of such diagnostic tests.
  • Are bloodstream leukocytes Trojan Horses for the metastasis of Staphylococcus aureus?
    - Nat Rev Micro 9(3):215 (2011)
    Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia remains very difficult to treat, and a large proportion of cases result in potentially lethal metastatic infection. Unpredictable and persistent bacteraemia in the face of highly active, usually bactericidal antibiotics is the strongest predictor of death or disseminated disease. Although S. aureus has conventionally been considered an extracellular pathogen, much evidence demonstrates that it can survive intracellularly. In this Opinion article, we propose that phagocytes, and specifically neutrophils, represent a privileged site for S. aureus in the bloodstream, offering protection from most antibiotics and providing a mechanism by which the bacterium can travel to and infect distant sites. Furthermore, we suggest how this can be experimentally confirmed and how it may prompt a change in the current paradigm of S. aureus bacteraemia and identify better treatment options for improved clinical outcomes.
  • Correspondence: Importance of feedback loops between soil inorganic nitrogen and microbial communities in the heterotrophic soil respiration response to global warming
    - Nat Rev Micro 9(3):222 (2011)
    In their recent article (Microorganisms and climate change: terrestrial feedbacks and mitigation options. Nature Rev. Microbiol.8, 779–790 (2010)
  • In situ to in silico and back: elucidating the physiology and ecology of Geobacter spp. using genome-scale modelling
    - Nat Rev Micro 9(3):222 (2011)
    In the original article, the Acknowledgements section was omitted. This section is shown below and has now been included in the article. We apologize to the authors, to those acknowledged and to readers for this omission.

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