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A Challenging View: Antibiotics Play a Role in the Regulation of the Energetic Metabolism of the Producing Bacteria

Abstract : Antibiotics are often considered as weapons conferring a competitive advantage to their producers in their ecological niche. However, since these molecules are produced in specific environmental conditions, notably phosphate limitation that triggers a specific metabolic state, they are likely to play important roles in the physiology of the producing bacteria that have been overlooked. Our recent experimental data as well as careful analysis of the scientific literature led us to propose that, in conditions of moderate to severe phosphate limitation—conditions known to generate energetic stress—antibiotics play crucial roles in the regulation of the energetic metabolism of the producing bacteria. A novel classification of antibiotics into types I, II, and III, based on the nature of the targets of these molecules and on their impact on the cellular physiology, is proposed. Type I antibiotics are known to target cellular membranes, inducing energy spilling and cell lysis of a fraction of the population to provide nutrients, and especially phosphate, to the surviving population. Type II antibiotics inhibit respiration through different strategies, to reduce ATP generation in conditions of low phosphate availability. Lastly, Type III antibiotics that are known to inhibit ATP consuming anabolic processes contribute to ATP saving in conditions of phosphate starvation.
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Contributor : Marie-Claude Serre <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, November 25, 2020 - 11:19:26 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 25, 2020 - 11:21:25 AM


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Marie-Joelle Virolle. A Challenging View: Antibiotics Play a Role in the Regulation of the Energetic Metabolism of the Producing Bacteria. Antibiotics, MDPI, 2020, 9 (2), pp.83. ⟨10.3390/antibiotics9020083⟩. ⟨hal-02495695⟩



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