Lipids are building blocks of biological membranes in the three domains of life and are endowed with several important biological functions. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is a peculiar glycolipid that represents the hallmark of the cell envelope of Gram-negative bacteria, a group comprising several important human pathogens. The presence of LPS in the outer membrane (OM) of Gram-negative bacteria correlates not only with the intrinsic resistance of this group of bacteria toward several antibiotics currently in use, but also with the worrisome increase in antibiotic resistance that is depleting the arsenal of efficacious molecules to cure bacterial infections. LPS consists of a conserved internal moiety decorated by a more variable distal unit. Several modifications occur at the canonical LPS structure during bacterial infection which are exploited by the microorganism to co-evolve with the host thus evading its immune system. This viewpoint article discusses the current knowledge on LPS biogenesis and modification systems and their consequences on recognition by immune cells and antimicrobial resistance. It also discusses how knowledge on LPS biogenesis can be exploited to develop molecules able to dismantle the Gram-negative protective barrier and to interfere with the interaction with the mammalian host. Practical Applications: Antibiotic resistance is a major threat for human health leading to inefficacy of many antibiotics to treat infectious diseases. Resistance to antibiotics causes around 25 000 deaths per year in the European Union alone and 700 000 deaths per year globally. This results in an increase of 1.5 billion euros per year in healthcare costs and productivity losses for illness. Gram-negative bacteria are intrinsically resistant to many antibiotics, due to their LPS-coated cell surface that protects them from the environment. LPS is sensed by the host immune system as a signal of bacterial infection, moreover bacteria exploit the complexity of LPS modifications to modulate the host immune response and eventually escape it. A deep understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying LPS biogenesis, including the physico-chemical and biological consequences of its lipid modifications, will be instrumental to develop novel antibiotic treatments aimed at dismantling the Gram-negative bacteria barrier and restoring drug sensitivity. The hallmark of Gram-negative bacteria is the presence of an asymmetric outer membrane (OM) surrounding the cytoplasmic membrane (inner membrane, IM), whose outer leaflet is made by lipopolysaccharide (LPS). A layer of peptidoglycan (PG) is sandwiched in between. LPS endows the bacteria with increased resistance to many antibiotics and is the first line of interaction with the host cell immune system. Chemical modifications of the canonical LPS structure determine different stimulatory effects of the immune response and allow the bacteria to escape from the killing action of effector molecules such as antimicrobial peptides.
Fat matters for bugs : how lipids and lipid modifications make the difference in bacterial life / P. Sperandeo, A. Polissi, E. De Fabiani. - In: EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF LIPID SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. - ISSN 1438-7697. - 121:10(2019 Oct), pp. 1900204.1-1900204.8.
|Titolo:||Fat matters for bugs : how lipids and lipid modifications make the difference in bacterial life|
SPERANDEO, PAOLA (Primo)
POLISSI, ALESSANDRA (Secondo)
DE FABIANI, EMMA SELINA ROSA (Ultimo) (Corresponding)
|Parole Chiave:||antibiotic targets; Gram-negative bacteria; host-pathogen interactions; lipid modification; lipopolysaccharides; outer membrane|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore BIO/10 - Biochimica|
Settore BIO/19 - Microbiologia Generale
|Data di pubblicazione:||ott-2019|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ejlt.201900204|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|
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