Stress Response and Immunity: Links and Trade Offs

Stress Response and Immunity: Links and Trade Offs

When environmental conditions deviate from the optimal range, stress ensues. Stress response is a set of reactions that allow the organism to adjust and survive adverse conditions. Stress can be ...
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Interaction of Stress and Immune Responses in Prokaryotes

Pp. 155-181 (27)

Nadia Danilova


In prokaryote cells, stress response interacts with immune response. Stress caused by diverse factors from DNA damage to heat, low pH, heavy metals, antibiotics, and toxins leads to the induction of proviruses and movement of mobile genetic elements. This can lead to horizontal gene transfer of immune mechanisms encoded by such elements and stimulate the evolution of bacterial immune defenses. The viral infection is associated with changes in host membranes and metabolism, which can be sensed as stress. Such stress then affects immune mechanisms. Stress can activate CRISPR-Cas systems preventively before they encounter an intruder. During DNA damage and associated DNA repair, unmodified R/M recognition sites may appear in the prokaryotic genome. To avoid targeting such sites by R/M systems, their activity is downregulated during stress.


Bacteriophage-encoded toxins, CRISPR-Cas, Envelope stress response, Immunity, Prokaryotes, Provirus induction, Phage shock protein, R/M autoimmunity, Restriction alleviation, Stress, Stress response.


Department of Molecular Cell & Developmental Biology, University of California, Los Angeles CA, USA.