Is there a relationship between the (p)ppGppbacterial Alarmone systems and the Mammalian brain? pRpp, pRibosepyrophosphate and the mode of action of Lithium, and ketamine, in mood and related disorders: Short article

A newly identified P.aeruginosa enzyme toxin has been shown to rapidly strip rival recipient bacterial cells of their ATP(1, 2). This noveltoxin causes alethal drop in the target bacteria's ATP levels, the new enzyme was originally thought to synthesise guanosine tetra or penta-phosphate, known as (p)ppGpp from ATP, but actually forms an alternate, analogue, (p)ppApp(adenosine pentaphosphate), from ATP(1, 2, 3).This actionnot only depletes the target cells ATP,italso has the additionalaction of blocking the formation of fresh ATP, i.e., it ‘doubly disables’ a normally protective system based on ppGpp, a prototypic bacterial ‘alarmone’, this seems part of a pattern whereby certain bacteria have managed to subvert a usually protective system,to gain a competitive advantage.


Arthur Ernst

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