Chapter 2 : Bacterial Metabolism Shapes the Host–Pathogen Interface

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Why do organisms “eat”? This core question drives the study of biochemistry—specifically metabolism. The short answer to this seemingly simple question is 2-fold: first, eating provides cells with the physical building blocks for the generation of cellular components (i.e., growth of the physical cell; something must come from something); second, eating is the way to extract energy to do cellular work (i.e., powering the process of growth; work is never done for free). These two processes—catabolism and anabolism—are inextricably linked. The pathways of catabolism, such as glycolysis and the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, which break down molecules for energy metabolism, also branch off into anabolic pathways that generate building blocks for the cell. Bacterial metabolism is dynamic and flexible, with different bacterial species encoding different metabolic capacities within their genomes. Thus, the canonical TCA cycle may function fully in one bacterial species, while another bacterium, missing a key enzyme of the cycle now uses the other TCA enzymes in branched oxidative and reductive pathways. Moreover, depending on the availability of carbon sources or oxygen, even if a bacterium encodes all of the enzymes for respiration, with its high-energy yield, the less energy-efficient but faster process of fermentation may predominate. Thus, the flexible metabolic space of rapidly evolving bacterial genomes enables many different ways for bacteria to take advantage of nutrients in complex environments for robust replication.

Citation: Passalacqua K, Charbonneau M, O’Riordan M. 2016. Bacterial Metabolism Shapes the Host–Pathogen Interface, p 15-41. In Kudva I, Cornick N, Plummer P, Zhang Q, Nicholson T, Bannantine J, Bellaire B (ed),

Virulence Mechanisms of Bacterial Pathogens, Fifth Edition

. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.VMBF-0027-2015
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Figure 1

A simplified view of catabolic energy-yielding pathways in bacteria and points of relevance for the indicated bacterial pathogens. The figure shows a simplified outline of some of the different pathways for utilizing carbohydrates or fatty acids for the generation of ATP. These catabolic pathways and the anabolic pathways that they feed are under extremely complex levels of control, which have been studied mainly in noninfectious organisms ( ). However, the unique metabolic strategies employed by infectious bacteria are becoming more appreciated as important aspects of bacterial pathogenesis ( ). *ATP generated by substrate level phosphorylation; **ATP generated by oxidative phosphorylation; solid lines, metabolic pathway; dashed lines, substrates that feed into catabolic pathways and products generated by bacteria as a result of metabolism or required for metabolism; dotted lines, main energy-yielding metabolites generated from pathways. Blue letters indicate specific points of importance for the energy-yielding metabolism of select pathogens listed as follows (see Table 1 for summary): Pathogenic streptococci (, , ); serovar Typhimurium; ; ; ; Enterohemorrhagic ; ; .

Citation: Passalacqua K, Charbonneau M, O’Riordan M. 2016. Bacterial Metabolism Shapes the Host–Pathogen Interface, p 15-41. In Kudva I, Cornick N, Plummer P, Zhang Q, Nicholson T, Bannantine J, Bellaire B (ed),

Virulence Mechanisms of Bacterial Pathogens, Fifth Edition

. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.VMBF-0027-2015
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Image of Figure 2
Figure 2

Graphical summary of bacterial mechanisms used to release intracellular host nutrients. Pathogenic bacteria perturb host cell functions to provide resources for survival and replication. Abbreviations: GSH, glutathione; GGT, γ-glutamyl transpeptidase; LCV, -containing vacuole; ER, endoplasmic reticulum; AA, amino acids; CERT, ceramide transfer protein; SM, sphingomyelin.

Citation: Passalacqua K, Charbonneau M, O’Riordan M. 2016. Bacterial Metabolism Shapes the Host–Pathogen Interface, p 15-41. In Kudva I, Cornick N, Plummer P, Zhang Q, Nicholson T, Bannantine J, Bellaire B (ed),

Virulence Mechanisms of Bacterial Pathogens, Fifth Edition

. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.VMBF-0027-2015
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Generic image for table

Summary points of energy-yielding metabolism for select pathogenic bacteria

Citation: Passalacqua K, Charbonneau M, O’Riordan M. 2016. Bacterial Metabolism Shapes the Host–Pathogen Interface, p 15-41. In Kudva I, Cornick N, Plummer P, Zhang Q, Nicholson T, Bannantine J, Bellaire B (ed),

Virulence Mechanisms of Bacterial Pathogens, Fifth Edition

. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.VMBF-0027-2015
Generic image for table

Summary of bacterial mechanisms for metal ion acquisition

Citation: Passalacqua K, Charbonneau M, O’Riordan M. 2016. Bacterial Metabolism Shapes the Host–Pathogen Interface, p 15-41. In Kudva I, Cornick N, Plummer P, Zhang Q, Nicholson T, Bannantine J, Bellaire B (ed),

Virulence Mechanisms of Bacterial Pathogens, Fifth Edition

. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.VMBF-0027-2015

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