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Inorganic Polyphosphate in the Microbial World. Emerging Roles for a Multifaceted Biopolymer

AuthorsAlbi, Tomás ; Serrano, Aurelio
KeywordsCation chelator
Cell signaling
Chemical chaperone
Inorganic polyphosphate
Nutrient deficiency
Stress protection
Issue Date2016
CitationWorld Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology, 32(2): 27 (2016)
Abstractnorganic polyphosphates (polyP) are linear polymers of tens to hundreds orthophosphate residues linked by phosphoanhydride bonds. These fairly abundant biopolymers occur in all extant forms of life, from prokaryotes to mammals, and could have played a relevant role in prebiotic evolution. Since the first identification of polyP deposits as metachromatic or volutin granules in yeasts in the nineteenth century, an increasing number of varied physiological functions have been reported. Due to their "high energy" bonds analogous to those in ATP and their properties as polyanions, polyP serve as microbial phosphagens for a variety of biochemical reactions, as a buffer against alkalis, as a storage of Ca(2+) and as a metal-chelating agent. In addition, recent studies have revealed polyP importance in signaling and regulatory processes, cell viability and proliferation, pathogen virulence, as a structural component and chemical chaperone, and as modulator of microbial stress response. This review summarizes the current status of knowledge and future perspectives of polyP functions and their related enzymes in the microbial world.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11274-015-1983-2
Appears in Collections:(IBVF) Artículos
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