Feb 20, 2020

The potential for redox-active metabolites (RAMs) to enhance or unlock anaerobic survival metabolisms in aerobes

Journal of Bacteriology
John A Ciemniecki, Dianne K Newman


Classifying microorganisms as "obligate" aerobes has colloquially implied death without air, leading to the erroneous assumption that without oxygen they are unable to survive. However, over the past few decades, more than a few obligate aerobes have been found to possess anaerobic energy conservation strategies that sustain metabolic activity in the absence of growth or at very slow growth rates. Similarly, studies emphasizing the aerobic prowess of certain facultative aerobes have sometimes led to under-recognition of their anaerobic capabilities. Yet an inescapable consequence of the affinity both obligate and facultative aerobes have for oxygen is that the metabolism of these organisms may drive this substrate to scarcity, making anoxic survival an essential skill. To illustrate this, we highlight the importance of anaerobic survival strategies for Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Streptomyces coelicolor, representative facultative and obligate aerobes, respectively. Included amongst these strategies we describe a role for redox-active secondary metabolites (RAMs), such as phenazines made by P. aeruginosa, in enhancing substrate-level phosphorylation. Importantly, RAMs are made by diverse bacteria, often during stationary phase i...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Fam103a1 protein, human
Oxidation-Reduction Activity [MoA]

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