Signal transduction by a death signal peptide: Uncovering the mechanism of bacterial killing by penicillin

Rodger Novak, Emmanuelle Charpentier, Johann S. Braun, Elaine Tuomanen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The binding of bactericidal antibiotics like penicillins, cephalosporins, and glycopeptides to their bacterial targets stops bacterial growth but does not directly cause cell death. A second process arising from the bacteria itself is necessary to trigger endogenous suicidal enzymes that dissolve the cell wall during autolysis. The signal and the trigger pathway for this event are completely unknown. Using S. pneumoniae as a model, we demonstrate that signal transduction via the two-component system VncR/S triggers multiple death pathways. We show that the signal sensed by VncR/S is a secreted peptide, Pep27, that initiates the cell death program. These data depict a novel model for the control of bacterial cell death.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-57
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Cell
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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