Editor’s Selections: Programmed death in bacteria, switches and latches on the ribosome, and fruiting bodies

Editor's Selections 15 Comments
By Vincent Racaniello

Vincent RacanielloVincent Racaniello selects several notable posts each week from molecular and cellular biology and virology. He unravels viruses at virology blog.

<img title=”Vincent Racaniello” src=”http://researchblogging.org/news/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/smallvincent.jpg” alt=”Vincent Racaniello” width=”47″ height=”47″ />Vincent Racaniello selects several notable posts each week from molecular and cellular biology and virology. He writes about viruses at <a href=”http://www.virology.ws” target=”_blank”>virology blog</a>.
  • Some bacteria have two different types of programmed cell death pathways. In E. coli, a pair of genes encode a toxin-antitoxin pair responds to cell stress by killing the population. A second death pathway resembles apoptosis and responds to DNA damage by eliminating individual cells.
  • Translational GTPases are ancient conserved proteins required for ribosome function. A conserved proline on the ribosome may constitute a switch that facilitates the recruitment and binding of these GTPases.
  • When the food supply is low, the prokaryote Myxococcus xanthus switches from swarming to forming a fruiting body. Formation of such bodies depends on the functionality of the stringent response system.

I’ll be back next Friday with more selections.

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