The biological role of death and lysis in biofilm development by Bayles 2007

This review present an interesting correlation between the programmed bacterial cell death (PCD) and the programmed eukaryotic cell death, called apoptosis. Despite the reference to several microorganisms, this paper is focused on PCD of Staphylococcus aureus and its consequence in biofilm development.

In S. aureus, the mechanisms that controls the cell death and lysis has been linked to the Cid and Lrg operons, which have an important role in the control of the murein hydrolase activity. Interestingly, the products of these genes are analogous to the bacteriophages-encoded holins and antiholins that are involved in the control of bacteriophage-mediated cell death and lysis. The role of  bacterial cell lysis in antibiotic resistance is also discussed.

Additionally, the PCD and lysis was demonstrated to influence metabolism activity and interesting, the phenotypic variations of dispersed cells, which presumably increases their fitness for colonizing new sites.

In brief, this is a very interesting review that should be read to better understand the diverse mechanisms underlying the process of biofilm formation, maturation and dispersion.

Reference of the paper summarized above:

Bayles, K W. (2007) “The biological role of death and lysis in biofilm development”. Nature Reviews: Microbiology, 5: 721-726.

RM: AF1311

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