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Role of Osmolytes and their Transporter Systems in Pathogen Survival and Pathogenicity

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Background: Pathogenic microbes routinely keep encountering different types of stress in their environment such as high osmolarity, high temperature, pH fluctuations in host gut etc. They tend to acquire certain small molecular weight molecules, termed osmolytes, so as to handle these challenges and survive in harsh conditions. These osmolytes include some which are self-synthesized by the microorganisms, while majority of them are imbibed from the external environment via osmolyte transporters.

Methods: In this review, we have discussed work done on osmolytes and their transport systems, which influence upon sustenance and virulence of the pathogens under the given stress conditions.

Results: Osmolytes and their transport systems play vital role in efficient maintenance of cell turgidity and electrolyte levels for proper cell functioning. These molecules don't disturb normal metabolic processes within the microbial cell at all; it rather stabilizes the macromolecules, such as nucleic acids and proteins. Besides, these osmolytes also empower the microbes with the pathogenicity potential under harsh conditions such as salt, pH, temperature stress, and the efficient host immunity.

Conclusion: Exploring avenues with respect to osmolyte transport systems is the need of the hour especially in this time where we are facing the evolution of antibiotic resistance in pathogens. Most interestingly, a detailed study of bacterial stress responses would prove to be useful in comprehending what these pathogens face in the host microenvironment, whereby we can manipulate the pathogen survival in human gut, and hence address the menace of pathogenic resistance in humans as well as animals.
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Keywords: Osmolyte; colonization; microorganism survival; osmolyte transporter; osmotic stress; pathogenicity

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: October 1, 2018

This article was made available online on July 19, 2018 as a Fast Track article with title: "Role of Osmolytes and their Transporter Systems in Pathogen Survival and Pathogenicity".

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  • Current Drug Metabolism aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments in drug metabolism and disposition. The journal serves as an international forum for the publication of timely reviews in drug metabolism. Current Drug Metabolism is an essential journal for academic, clinical, government and pharmaceutical scientists who wish to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments. The journal covers the following areas:

    In vitro systems including CYP-450; enzyme induction and inhibition; drug-drug interactions and enzyme kinetics; pharmacokinetics, toxicokinetics, species scaling and extrapolations; P-glycoprotein and transport carriers; target organ toxicity and interindividual variability; drug metabolism and disposition studies; extrahepatic metabolism; phase I and phase II metabolism; recent developments for the identification of drug metabolites and adducts.
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