Villu Kasari "Bacterial toxin-antitoxin systems: transcriptional cross-activation and characterization of a novel mqsRA system" | University of Tartu

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Contacts of UT units

Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Faculty phone: 
+372 737 5341
Faculty address: 
Jakobi 2, rooms 116–121, 51005 Tartu
  • Dean's Office
    Faculty phone: 
    + 372 737 5341
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 2, rooms 116–121, 51005 Tartu
  • Institute of History and Archaeology
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5651
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    Jakobi 2, 51005 Tartu
  • Institute of Estonian and General Linguistics
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5221
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 2, 51005 Tartu
  • Institute of Philosophy and Semiotics
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5314
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 2, rooms 309–352, 51005 Tartu
  • Institute of Cultural Research
    Faculty phone: 
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    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 16, 51003 Tartu
  • School of Theology and Religious Studies
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5301
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18–310, 50090 Tartu
  • College of Foreign Languages and Cultures
    Faculty address: 
    J. Liivi 4, 50409, Tartu
  • Viljandi Culture Academy
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 435 5232
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    Posti 1, 71004 Viljandi
Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty phone: 
+372 737 5957
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Lossi 36, 51003 Tartu
  • Dean's Office
    Faculty phone: 
    + 372 737 5900
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 36, 51003 Tartu
  • Institute of Education
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6440
    Faculty address: 
    Salme 1a–29, 50103 Tartu
  • Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies
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    +372 737 5582
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 36–301, 51003 Tartu
  • School of Economics and Business Administration
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    Narva mnt 18, 51009 Tartu
  • Institute of Psychology
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  • Institute of Biomedicine and Translational Medicine
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    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 5–205, 51005 Tartu
Faculty of Science and Technology
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Vanemuise 46–208, 51014 Tartu
  • Dean's Office
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    Faculty address: 
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  • Institute of Computer Science
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    Narva mnt 18, 51009 Tartu
  • Estonian Marine Institute
    Faculty phone: 
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    Mäealuse 14, 12618 Tallinn
  • Institute of Physics
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  • Institute of Chemistry
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  • Institute of Mathematics and Statistics
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  • Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology
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  • Tartu Observatory
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  • Institute of Technology
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  • Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences
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    Vanemuise 46, 51003 Tartu
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    Faculty address: 
    W. Struve 1, 50091 Tartu
  • Youth Academy
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    Faculty address: 
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  • Institute of Genomics
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    Faculty address: 
    Riia 23b, 51010 Tartu
  • Museum
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    Lossi 25, 51003 Tartu
  • University of Tartu Natural History Museum and Botanical Garden
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    Faculty address: 
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  • University Office in Tallinn
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    Faculty address: 
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  • Estates Office
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Villu Kasari "Bacterial toxin-antitoxin systems: transcriptional cross-activation and characterization of a novel mqsRA system"

Date: 
26.11.2013 - 14:15 to 16:15

Supervisor: vanemteadur Niilo Kaldalu (Tartu Ülikool)
Opponent: Prof. Remy Loris, PhD
Department of Biotechnology
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Department of Structural Biology, VIB
Brussel, Belgium

Summary:
Many bacteria attach to surfaces and enclose into slime. This type of growth is called biofilm and it provides better protection for bacteria to fight against harmful factors such as antibiotics and immune system. It has been proposed that most chronic infections are caused by bacteria growing in biofilms, which is a serious medical problem. Biofilm is enriched with temporarily non-dividing bacteria that have no specific antibiotic resistance mechanisms. These bacteria are not killed by the drug due to their dormant state. After the treatment, these cells wake up and start growing again. In these dormant cells, the toxin-antitoxin (TA) system genes are highly expressed. Toxin is a protein that inhibits some important process inside the bacterium. Many toxins cleave mRNA, thus, inhibiting protein synthesis and bacterial growth. Antitoxin is a protein that, by binding to the toxin, allows a cell to grow again. Therefore, activated toxins may result in formation of dormant cells in biofilms. The aim of the current dissertation was to examine the cross-activation between TA systems and to test whether mqsR and mqsA genes encode a new TA system in Eschericha coli. Firstly, we demonstrated that MqsR arrests cell growth and MqsA neutralizes the toxic effect of MqsR. In addition, MqsA regulates expression of the both genes, which is a characteristic for the antitoxins. Hence, we characterized and validated a new MqsRA TA system. Secondly, we proved cross-activation between different TA systems. The results indicate that TA cross-activation may be influenced by TA mRNA cleavage, through which bacteria produce more toxin compared to its antitoxin. In conclusion, this study provides new knowledge about simultaneous expression of TA systems and supports their possible role in dormancy.

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