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Beat their swords into ploughshares.

van der Oost J - Microb Biotechnol (2015)

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Laboratory of Microbiology, Wageningen University, Wageningen, Netherlands.

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Billions of years of competition and warfare between viruses, prokaryotes and eukaryotes (in any combination) have shaped the present world... A breakthrough has been the discovery of adaptive immunity in bacteria and archaea... The clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats, and associated proteins (CRISPR-Cas) system acquires short deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) sequences from mobile genetic elements (MGE), and stores them in CRISPR arrays in the host genome... Upon an infection by a previously encountered MGE, the CRISPR memory is expressed as small CRISPR RNAs that guide effector proteins to complementary invading nucleic acids, eventually neutralizing the invasion (Barrangou and Marraffini, ; Van der Oost et al., )... Two examples of repurposing bacterial virulence systems include the invasion machinery of plant pathogens... The pTi plasmid from Agrobacterium tumefaciens is used as general DNA delivery system in plants and fungi, whereas a Xanthomonas-derived transcription activator-like (TAL) effector have been fused to a restriction enzyme resulting in sequence specific TAL effector nucleases (TALEN)... Recently, in depth molecular analyses have triggered the revolutionary development of CRISPR-Cas-derived engineering tools... Cas9 is a relatively simple variant CRISPR-Cas effector complex that can be functionally expressed in a wide range of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells... A recent comparative analysis of prokaryotic genomes has revealed the existence of so-called defence islands: chromosomal gene clusters that encode both integrated MGEs (prophages) and defence systems (R/M, T/A, CRISPR-Cas, Argonaute) (Makarova et al., )... Other hypothetical defence systems concern variant Argonautes (reviewed by Swarts 2014) and variant CRISPR-Cas systems (Makarova et al., )... In conclusion, it seems like a safe bet to predict that there are still many offence and defence systems hidden in microbial genomes.

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Let us beat Swords into Ploughshares. A sculpture from Evgeniy Vuchetich, inspired by the famous phrase from the Book of Isaiah (‘they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks’) in front of the United Nations Building in New York. Adjusted from a photo by Gilmar Mattos (https://www.flickr.com/photos/gijlmar/5720499345/in/photostream/).
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fig01: Let us beat Swords into Ploughshares. A sculpture from Evgeniy Vuchetich, inspired by the famous phrase from the Book of Isaiah (‘they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks’) in front of the United Nations Building in New York. Adjusted from a photo by Gilmar Mattos (https://www.flickr.com/photos/gijlmar/5720499345/in/photostream/).

Mentions: The currently known virulence and immune systems appear to be just a tip of the iceberg. A recent comparative analysis of prokaryotic genomes has revealed the existence of so-called defence islands: chromosomal gene clusters that encode both integrated MGEs (prophages) and defence systems (R/M, T/A, CRISPR-Cas, Argonaute) (Makarova et al., 2011). In addition, these genomic loci contain numerous hypothetical genes, many of which have been predicted to encode novel defence systems. Hence, defence islands provide abundant material for discovering bacterial and archaeal antivirus defence systems. Partly based on the latter predictions, a novel family of viral exclusion systems has recently been characterized (BREX) (Goldfarb et al., 2014). Other hypothetical defence systems concern variant Argonautes (reviewed by Swarts 2014) and variant CRISPR-Cas systems (Makarova et al., 2013). In conclusion, it seems like a safe bet to predict that there are still many offence and defence systems hidden in microbial genomes. The challenge we are facing is not only to discover and characterize these secret weapons but also explore possibilities to transform them into innovative applications (Fig. 1): beat their swords into ploughshares!


Beat their swords into ploughshares.

van der Oost J - Microb Biotechnol (2015)

Let us beat Swords into Ploughshares. A sculpture from Evgeniy Vuchetich, inspired by the famous phrase from the Book of Isaiah (‘they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks’) in front of the United Nations Building in New York. Adjusted from a photo by Gilmar Mattos (https://www.flickr.com/photos/gijlmar/5720499345/in/photostream/).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4321368&req=5

fig01: Let us beat Swords into Ploughshares. A sculpture from Evgeniy Vuchetich, inspired by the famous phrase from the Book of Isaiah (‘they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks’) in front of the United Nations Building in New York. Adjusted from a photo by Gilmar Mattos (https://www.flickr.com/photos/gijlmar/5720499345/in/photostream/).
Mentions: The currently known virulence and immune systems appear to be just a tip of the iceberg. A recent comparative analysis of prokaryotic genomes has revealed the existence of so-called defence islands: chromosomal gene clusters that encode both integrated MGEs (prophages) and defence systems (R/M, T/A, CRISPR-Cas, Argonaute) (Makarova et al., 2011). In addition, these genomic loci contain numerous hypothetical genes, many of which have been predicted to encode novel defence systems. Hence, defence islands provide abundant material for discovering bacterial and archaeal antivirus defence systems. Partly based on the latter predictions, a novel family of viral exclusion systems has recently been characterized (BREX) (Goldfarb et al., 2014). Other hypothetical defence systems concern variant Argonautes (reviewed by Swarts 2014) and variant CRISPR-Cas systems (Makarova et al., 2013). In conclusion, it seems like a safe bet to predict that there are still many offence and defence systems hidden in microbial genomes. The challenge we are facing is not only to discover and characterize these secret weapons but also explore possibilities to transform them into innovative applications (Fig. 1): beat their swords into ploughshares!

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Laboratory of Microbiology, Wageningen University, Wageningen, Netherlands.

AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED EXCERPT
Please rate it.

Billions of years of competition and warfare between viruses, prokaryotes and eukaryotes (in any combination) have shaped the present world... A breakthrough has been the discovery of adaptive immunity in bacteria and archaea... The clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats, and associated proteins (CRISPR-Cas) system acquires short deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) sequences from mobile genetic elements (MGE), and stores them in CRISPR arrays in the host genome... Upon an infection by a previously encountered MGE, the CRISPR memory is expressed as small CRISPR RNAs that guide effector proteins to complementary invading nucleic acids, eventually neutralizing the invasion (Barrangou and Marraffini, ; Van der Oost et al., )... Two examples of repurposing bacterial virulence systems include the invasion machinery of plant pathogens... The pTi plasmid from Agrobacterium tumefaciens is used as general DNA delivery system in plants and fungi, whereas a Xanthomonas-derived transcription activator-like (TAL) effector have been fused to a restriction enzyme resulting in sequence specific TAL effector nucleases (TALEN)... Recently, in depth molecular analyses have triggered the revolutionary development of CRISPR-Cas-derived engineering tools... Cas9 is a relatively simple variant CRISPR-Cas effector complex that can be functionally expressed in a wide range of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells... A recent comparative analysis of prokaryotic genomes has revealed the existence of so-called defence islands: chromosomal gene clusters that encode both integrated MGEs (prophages) and defence systems (R/M, T/A, CRISPR-Cas, Argonaute) (Makarova et al., )... Other hypothetical defence systems concern variant Argonautes (reviewed by Swarts 2014) and variant CRISPR-Cas systems (Makarova et al., )... In conclusion, it seems like a safe bet to predict that there are still many offence and defence systems hidden in microbial genomes.

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