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When our genome is targeted by pathogenic bacteria.

Abstract : Eukaryotic cells repair thousands of lesions arising in the genome at each cell cycle. The most hazardous damage is likely DNA double-strand breaks (DSB) that cleave the double helix backbone. DSBs occur naturally during T-cell receptor and immunoglobulin gene recombination in lymphocytes. DSBs can also arise as a consequence of exogenous stresses (e.g. ionizing irradiation, chemotherapeutic drugs, viruses) or oxidative processes. An increasing number of studies have reported that infection with pathogenic bacteria also alters the host genome, producing DSB and other modifications on DNA. This review focuses on recent data on bacteria-induced DNA damage and the known strategies used by these pathogens to maintain a physiological niche in the host. Even after DNA repair in infected cells, “scars” often remain on chromosomes and might generate genomic instability at the next cell division. Chronic inflammation in tissue, combined with infection and DNA damage, can give rise to genomic instability and eventually cancer. A functional link between the DNA damage response and the innate immune response has been recently established. Pathogenic bacteria also highjack the host cell cycle, often acting on the stability of the master regulator p53, or dampen the DNA damage response to support bacterial replication in an appropriate reservoir. Except in a few cases, the molecular mechanisms responsible for DNA lesions are poorly understood, although ROS release during infection is a serious candidate for generating DNA breaks. Thus, chronic or repetitive infections with genotoxic bacteria represent a common source of DNA lesions that compromise host genome integrity.
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Contributor : Claudie Lemercier Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Wednesday, April 22, 2015 - 12:34:14 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, May 11, 2021 - 11:36:25 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Monday, September 14, 2015 - 12:25:48 PM


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Claudie Lemercier. When our genome is targeted by pathogenic bacteria.. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, Springer Verlag, 2015, pp.DOI 10.1007/s00018-015-1900-8. ⟨10.1007/s00018-015-1900-8⟩. ⟨inserm-01139164⟩



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