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Role of Osmolytes and their Transporter Systems in Pathogen Survival and Pathogenicity

[ Vol. 19 , Issue. 12 ]


Safikur Rahman, Ayyagari Archana, Mudsser Azam, Arif Tasleem Jan, Durgashree Dutta and Rinki Minakshi*   Pages 992 - 1001 ( 10 )


Background: Pathogenic microbes routinely keep encountering different types of stress in their environment such as high osmolarity, high temperature, pH fluctuations in host gut etc. They tend to acquire certain small molecular weight molecules, termed osmolytes, so as to handle these challenges and survive in harsh conditions. These osmolytes include some which are self-synthesized by the microorganisms, while majority of them are imbibed from the external environment via osmolyte transporters.

Methods: In this review, we have discussed work done on osmolytes and their transport systems, which influence upon sustenance and virulence of the pathogens under the given stress conditions.

Results: Osmolytes and their transport systems play vital role in efficient maintenance of cell turgidity and electrolyte levels for proper cell functioning. These molecules don’t disturb normal metabolic processes within the microbial cell at all; it rather stabilizes the macromolecules, such as nucleic acids and proteins. Besides, these osmolytes also empower the microbes with the pathogenicity potential under harsh conditions such as salt, pH, temperature stress, and the efficient host immunity.

Conclusion: Exploring avenues with respect to osmolyte transport systems is the need of the hour especially in this time where we are facing the evolution of antibiotic resistance in pathogens. Most interestingly, a detailed study of bacterial stress responses would prove to be useful in comprehending what these pathogens face in the host microenvironment, whereby we can manipulate the pathogen survival in human gut, and hence address the menace of pathogenic resistance in humans as well as animals.


Osmolyte, osmolyte transporter, microorganism survival, pathogenicity, colonization, osmotic stress.


Department of Medical Biotechnology, Yeungnam University, Gyeongsan 712-749, Department of Microbiology, Swami Shraddhanand College, University of Delhi, Delhi 110036, Department of Biosciences, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi 110025, School of Biosciences and Biotechnology, Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University, Rajouri, Department of Biochemistry, Jan Nayak Chaudhary Devilal Dental College, Sirsa, Haryana, Department of Microbiology, Swami Shraddhanand College, University of Delhi, Delhi 110036

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