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- BMC Bioinformatics
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- National Science Foundation
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Stress and starvation causes bacterial cells to activate the stringent response. This results in down-regulation of energy-requiring processes related to growth, as well as an upregulation of genes associated with survival and stress responses. Guanosine tetra- and pentaphosphates (collectively referred to as (p)ppGpp) are critical for this process. In Gram-positive bacteria, a main function of (p)ppGpp is to limit cellular levels of GTP, one consequence of which is reduced transcription of genes that require GTP as the initiating nucleotide, such as rRNA genes. In Streptomycetes, the stringent response is also linked to complex morphological differentiation and to production of secondary metabolites, including antibiotics. These processes are also influenced by the second messenger c-di-GMP. Since GTP is a substrate for both (p)ppGpp and c-di-GMP, a finely tuned regulation of cellular GTP levels is required to ensure adequate synthesis of these guanosine derivatives. Here, we discuss mechanisms that operate to control guanosine metabolism and how they impinge on the production of antibiotics in Streptomyces species.
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The nucleotide messenger (p)ppGpp is an anti-inducer of the purine synthesis transcription regulator PurR in Bacillus
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