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Hatfull, Graham F. (Ed.)ABSTRACT Bacteria and bacteriophages (phages) have evolved potent defense and counterdefense mechanisms that allowed their survival and greatest abundance on Earth. CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat)-Cas (CRISPR-associated) is a bacterial defense system that inactivates the invading phage genome by introducing double-strand breaks at targeted sequences. While the mechanisms of CRISPR defense have been extensively investigated, the counterdefense mechanisms employed by phages are poorly understood. Here, we report a novel counterdefense mechanism by which phage T4 restores the genomes broken by CRISPR cleavages. Catalyzed by the phage-encoded recombinase UvsX, this mechanism pairs very short stretches of sequence identity (minihomology sites), as few as 3 or 4 nucleotides in the flanking regions of the cleaved site, allowing replication, repair, and stitching of genomic fragments. Consequently, a series of deletions are created at the targeted site, making the progeny genomes completely resistant to CRISPR attack. Our results demonstrate that this is a general mechanism operating against both type II (Cas9) and type V (Cas12a) CRISPR-Cas systems. These studies uncovered a new type of counterdefense mechanism evolved by T4 phage where subtle functional tuning of preexisting DNA metabolism leads to profound impact on phage survival. IMPORTANCE Bacteriophages (phages) are viruses that infectmore »
Hatfull, Graham F. (Ed.)ABSTRACT The mycomembrane layer of the mycobacterial cell envelope is a barrier to environmental, immune, and antibiotic insults. There is considerable evidence of mycomembrane plasticity during infection and in response to host-mimicking stresses. Since mycobacteria are resource and energy limited under these conditions, it is likely that remodeling has distinct requirements from those of the well-characterized biosynthetic program that operates during unrestricted growth. Unexpectedly, we found that mycomembrane remodeling in nutrient-starved, nonreplicating mycobacteria includes synthesis in addition to turnover. Mycomembrane synthesis under these conditions occurs along the cell periphery, in contrast to the polar assembly of actively growing cells, and both liberates and relies on the nonmammalian disaccharide trehalose. In the absence of trehalose recycling, de novo trehalose synthesis fuels mycomembrane remodeling. However, mycobacteria experience ATP depletion, enhanced respiration, and redox stress, hallmarks of futile cycling and the collateral dysfunction elicited by some bactericidal antibiotics. Inefficient energy metabolism compromises the survival of trehalose recycling mutants in macrophages. Our data suggest that trehalose recycling alleviates the energetic burden of mycomembrane remodeling under stress. Cell envelope recycling pathways are emerging targets for sensitizing resource-limited bacterial pathogens to host and antibiotic pressure. IMPORTANCE The glucose-based disaccharide trehalose is a stress protectant and carbonmore »