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Bacterial Toxin-antitoxin Systems and Their Biotechnological Applications
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  • Journal title : Journal of Life Science
  • Volume 26, Issue 2,  2016, pp.265-274
  • Publisher : Korean Society of Life Science
  • DOI : 10.5352/JLS.2016.26.2.265
 Title & Authors
Bacterial Toxin-antitoxin Systems and Their Biotechnological Applications
Kim, Yoonji; Hwang, Jihwan;
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Toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are ubiquitous genetic modules that are evolutionally conserved in bacteria and archaea. TA systems composed of an intracellular toxin and its antidote (antitoxin) are currently classified into five types. Commonly, activation of toxins under stress conditions inhibits diverse cellular processes and consequently induces cell death or reversible growth inhibition. These effects of toxins play various physiological roles in such as regulation of gene expression, growth control (stress response), programmed cell arrest, persister cells, programmed cell death, phage protection, stabilization of mobile genetic elements or postsegregational killing of plasmid-free cells. Accordingly, bacterial TA systems are commonly considered as stress-responsive genetic modules. However, molecule screening for activation of toxin in TA system is available as development of antimicrobial agents. In addition, cytotoxic effect induced by toxin is used as effective cloning method with antitoxic effect of antitoxin; consequently cells containing cloning vector inserted a target gene can survive and false-positive transformants are removed. Also, TA system is applicable to efficient single protein production in biotechnology industry because toxins that are site-specific ribonuclease inhibit protein synthesis except for target protein. Furthermore, some TA systems that induce apoptosis in eukaryotic cells such as cancer cells or virus-infected cells would have a wide range of applications in eukaryotes, and it will lead to new ways of treating human disease. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on bacterial TA systems and their applications.
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