Programmed cell death in bacteria and implications for antibiotic therapy.
It is now well appreciated that programmed cell death (PCD) plays critical roles in the life cycle of diverse bacterial species. It is an apparently paradoxical behavior as it does not benefit the cells undergoing PCD. However, growing evidence suggests that PCD can be 'altruistic': the dead cells may directly or indirectly benefit survivors through generation of public goods. This property provides a potential explanation on how PCD can evolve as an extreme form of cooperation, although many questions remain to be addressed. From another perspective, as PCD plays a critical role in bacterial pathogenesis, it has been proposed as a potential target for new antibacterial therapy. To this end, understanding the population and evolutionary dynamics resulting from PCD and public goods production may be a key to the success of designing effective antibiotic treatment.
Tanouchi, Y; Lee, AJ; Meredith, H; You, L
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