In many genomes, toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems have been identified; however, their role in cell physiology has been unclear. Here we examine the evidence that TA systems are involved in biofilm formation and persister cell formation and that these systems may be important regulators of the switch from the planktonic to the biofilm lifestyle as a stress response by their control of secondary messenger 3',5'-cyclic diguanylic acid. Specifically, upon stress, the sequence-specific mRNA interferases MqsR and MazF mediate cell survival. In addition, we propose that TA systems are not redundant, as they may have developed to respond to specific stresses.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology