II Proteins Moonlighting in Prokarya

Overview of Protein Moonlighting in Bacterial Virulence

Brian Henderson

Department of Microbial Diseases, UCL-Eastman Dental Institute, University College London, UK


It is intriguing that, in spite of the estimates of our planet harboring between 10 million and one billion species of bacteria (Schloss and Handelsman 2004), only a tiny handful of these organisms are capable of causing human disease (Wilson et al. 2005). Both exogenous and endogenous bacterial pathogens cause disease through the possession, and expression, of various classes of proteins known as virulence factors. A large number of molecularly distinct bacterial virulence factors are now recognized (Sansonetti 2010). It is therefore surprising that, over the past 20 years, a growing number of moonlighting proteins have been shown to be involved in bacterial virulence (Henderson and Martin 2011, 2013; Henderson 2014). This chapter performs the task of explaining the background to the rest of the book, and will introduce the reader to the concept of bacterial virulence and bacterial virulence factors, and will provide a brief overview of the role of bacterial moonlighting proteins as virulence determinants.

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