Regulating the intersection of metabolism and pathogenesis in gram-positive bacteria

Anthony R. Richardson, Greg A. Somerville, Abraham L. Sonenshein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Pathogenic bacteria must contend with immune systems that actively restrict the availability of nutrients and cofactors, and create a hostile growth environment. To deal with these hostile environments, pathogenic bacteria have evolved or acquired virulence determinants that aid in the acquisition of nutrients. This connection between pathogenesis and nutrition may explain why regulators of metabolism in nonpathogenic bacteria are used by pathogenic bacteria to regulate both metabolism and virulence. Such coordinated regulation is presumably advantageous because it conserves carbon and energy by aligning synthesis of virulence determinants with the nutritional environment. In Gram-positive bacterial pathogens, at least three metabolite-responsive global regulators, CcpA, CodY, and Rex, have been shown to coordinate the expression of metabolism and virulence genes. In this chapter, we discuss how environmental challenges alter metabolism, the regulators that respond to this altered metabolism, and how these regulators influence the host-pathogen interaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberMBP-0004-2014
JournalMicrobiology Spectrum
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Ecology
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology
  • Infectious Diseases


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