Molecular Microbiology

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  1. ppGpp and DksA likely regulate the activity of the extracytoplasmic stress factor sigmaE in Escherichia coli by both direct and indirect mechanisms.

    Molecular Microbiology 67(3):619 (2008) PMID 18086212

    One of the major signalling pathways responsible for intercompartmental communication between the cell envelope and cytoplasm in Escherichia coli is mediated by the alternative sigma factor, sigmaE. sigmaE has been studied primarily for its role in response to the misfolding of outer membrane po...
  2. The antibacterial activity of peptides derived from human beta-2 glycoprotein I is inhibited by protein H and M1 protein from Streptococcus pyogenes.

    Molecular Microbiology 67(3):482 (2008) PMID 18093092

    During the last years, the importance of antibacterial peptides has attracted considerable attention. We report here that peptides derived from the fifth domain of beta-2 glycoprotein I (beta(2)GPI), a human heparin binding plasma protein, have antibacterial activities against Gram-positive and ...
  3. A mitochondrial topoisomerase IA essential for late theta structure resolution in African trypanosomes.

    Molecular Microbiology 67(4):820 (2008) PMID 18179422

    Trypanosomes and Leishmania, protozoans that cause major human diseases, have a topologically intricate mitochondrial DNA (kinetoplast or kDNA) in the form of a network of thousands of interlocked circles. This unusual system provides a useful reporter for studying topoisomerase functions in viv...
  4. GTP-dependent polymerization of the tubulin-like RepX replication protein encoded by the pXO1 plasmid of Bacillus anthracis.

    Molecular Microbiology 67(4):881 (2008) PMID 18179418

    RepX protein encoded by the pXO1 plasmid of Bacillus anthracis is required for plasmid replication. RepX harbours the tubulin signature motif and contains limited amino acid sequence homology to the bacterial cell division protein FtsZ. Although replication proteins are not known to polymerize, ...
  5. Escherichia coli DnaA interacts with HU in initiation at the E. coli replication origin.

    Molecular Microbiology 67(4):781 (2008) PMID 18179598

    Escherichia coli HU protein is a dimer encoded by two closely related genes whose expression is growth phase-dependent. As a major component of the bacterial nucleoid, HU binds to DNA non-specifically, but acts at the chromosomal origin (oriC) during initiation by stimulating strand opening in v...
  6. The Scl1 protein of M6-type group A Streptococcus binds the human complement regulatory protein, factor H, and inhibits the alternative pathway of complement.

    Molecular Microbiology 67(3):584 (2008) PMID 18093091

    Non-specific activation of the complement system is regulated by the plasma glycoprotein factor H (FH). Bacteria can avoid complement-mediated opsonization and phagocytosis through acquiring FH to the cell surface. Here, we characterize an interaction between the streptococcal collagen-like prot...
  7. Small mobile sequences in bacteria display diverse structure/function motifs.

    Molecular Microbiology 67(3):475 (2008) PMID 18086200 PMCID PMC2229807

    Small repeat sequences in bacterial genomes, which represent non-autonomous mobile elements, have close similarities to archaeon and eukaryotic miniature inverted repeat transposable elements. These repeat elements are found in both intergenic and intragenic chromosomal regions, and contain an a...
  8. SaPI mutations affecting replication and transfer and enabling autonomous replication in the absence of helper phage.

    Molecular Microbiology 67(3):493 (2008) PMID 18086210

    The SaPIs are chromosomal islands in staphylococci and other Gram-positive bacteria that carry genes for superantigens, virulence factors, resistance and certain metabolic functions. They have intimate relationships with certain temperate phages involving phage-induced excision, replication and ...
  9. Distinct regulators control the expression of methanol methyltransferase isozymes in Methanosarcina acetivorans C2A.

    Molecular Microbiology 67(3):649 (2008) PMID 18086201

    The mtaCB1, mtaCB2 and mtaCB3 operons encode isozymes of methanol methyltransferases in Methanosarcina acetivorans C2A and are among the most highly regulated genes known in Archaea. Here we identify cis and trans acting elements that affect the expression of these operons. In vivo reporter gene...
  10. Post-transcriptional cross-talk between pro- and anti-colonization pili biosynthesis systems in Vibrio cholerae.

    Molecular Microbiology 67(4):849 (2008) PMID 18179420

    The pathogen Vibrio cholerae modulates the expression of many genes in order to transition from its environmental reservoir to its niche in the human host. Among these are genes encoding two related Type IV pili, the mannose-sensitive haemagglutinin (MSHA) pilus, which aids V. cholerae persisten...
  11. Molecular basis of gene regulation by the THI-box riboswitch.

    Molecular Microbiology 67(4):793 (2008) PMID 18179415

    Riboswitches are genetic control elements located mainly within the 5' untranslated regions of messenger RNAs. These RNA elements undergo conformational changes that modulate gene expression upon binding of regulatory signals including vitamins, amino acids, nucleobases and uncharged tRNA. The t...
  12. Electron tomography of the Maurer's cleft organelles of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes reveals novel structural features.

    Molecular Microbiology 67(4):703 (2008) PMID 18067543

    During intraerythrocytic development, the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, establishes membrane-bound compartments, known as Maurer's clefts, outside the confines of its own plasma membrane. The Maurer's compartments are thought to be a crucial component of the machinery for protei...
  13. The Bacillus subtilis sigma(M) regulon and its contribution to cell envelope stress responses.

    Molecular Microbiology 67(4):830 (2008) PMID 18179421 PMCID PMC3025603

    The Bacillus subtilis extracytoplasmic function (ECF) sigma(M) factor is activated by cell envelope stress elicited by antibiotics, and by acid, heat, ethanol and superoxide stresses. Here, we have used several complementary approaches to identify genes controlled by sigma(M). In many cases, exp...
  14. A small protein from the bop-brp intergenic region of Halobacterium salinarum contains a zinc finger motif and regulates bop and crtB1 transcription.

    Molecular Microbiology 67(4):772 (2008) PMID 18179416 PMCID PMC2253796

    Bacteriorhodopsin, the photosynthetic protein of Halobacterium salinarum, is optimally expressed under anaerobic growth conditions. We identified Brz (OE3104F, bacteriorhodopsin-regulating zinc finger protein), a new regulator of the bop gene. It is a small protein with a zinc finger motif, enco...
  15. A phage display system designed to detect and study protein-protein interactions.

    Molecular Microbiology 67(4):719 (2008) PMID 18179417

    Analysing protein-protein interactions is critical in proteomics and drug discovery. The usage of 2-Hybrid (2lambda) systems is limited to an in vivo environment. We describe a bacteriophage 2-Hybrid system for studying protein interactions in vitro. Bait and prey are displayed as fusions to the...
  16. Acetylation of histone H4K4 is cell cycle regulated and mediated by HAT3 in Trypanosoma brucei.

    Molecular Microbiology 67(4):762 (2008) PMID 18179414 PMCID PMC2253726

    Post-translational histone modifications have been studied intensively in several eukaryotes. It has been proposed that these modifications constitute a 'histone code' that specifies epigenetic information for transcription regulation. With a limited number of histone-modifying enzymes, implying...
  17. The Streptomyces coelicolor GlnR regulon: identification of new GlnR targets and evidence for a central role of GlnR in nitrogen metabolism in actinomycetes.

    Molecular Microbiology 67(4):861 (2008) PMID 18179599

    Streptomyces coelicolor GlnR is a global regulator that controls genes involved in nitrogen metabolism. By genomic screening 10 new GlnR targets were identified, including enzymes for ammonium assimilation (glnII, gdhA), nitrite reduction (nirB), urea cleavage (ureA) and a number of biochemicall...
  18. Preferential localization of the endocytic internalization machinery to hyphal tips underlies polarization of the actin cytoskeleton in Aspergillus nidulans.

    Molecular Microbiology 67(4):891 (2008) PMID 18179595

    AbpA, SlaB and AmpA, three demonstrated components of the endocytic internalization machinery, are strongly polarized in Aspergillus nidulans hyphae, forming a ring that embraces the hyphal tip, leaving an area of exclusion at the apex. AbpA, a prototypic endocytic internalization marker, locali...
  19. The resuscitation-promoting factors of Mycobacterium tuberculosis are required for virulence and resuscitation from dormancy but are collectively dispensable for growth in vitro.

    Molecular Microbiology 67(3):672 (2008) PMID 18186793 PMCID PMC2229633

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis contains five resuscitation-promoting factor (Rpf)-like proteins, RpfA-E, that are implicated in resuscitation of this organism from dormancy via a mechanism involving hydrolysis of the peptidoglycan by Rpfs and partnering proteins. In this study, the rpfA-E genes were...
  20. An atypical orthologue of 6-pyruvoyltetrahydropterin synthase can provide the missing link in the folate biosynthesis pathway of malaria parasites.

    Molecular Microbiology 67(3):609 (2008) PMID 18093090 PMCID PMC2229834

    Folate metabolism in malaria parasites is a long-standing, clinical target for chemotherapy and prophylaxis. However, despite determination of the complete genome sequence of the lethal species Plasmodium falciparum, the pathway of de novo folate biosynthesis remains incomplete, as no candidate ...