Insights from protein-protein interaction studies on bacterial pathogenesis
Introduction: The threat bacterial pathogens pose to human health is increasing with the number and distribution of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, while the rate of discovery of new antimicrobials dwindles. Proteomics is playing key roles in understanding the molecular mechanisms of bacterial pathogenesis, and in identifying disease outcome determinants. The physical associations identified by proteomics can provide the means to develop pathogen-specific treatment methods that reduce the spread of antibiotic resistance and alleviate the negative effects of broad-spectrum antibiotics on beneficial bacteria.
Areas covered: This review discusses recent trends in proteomics and introduces new and developing approaches that can be applied to the study of protein-protein interactions (PPIs) underlying bacterial pathogenesis. The approaches examined encompass options for mapping proteomes as well as stable and transient interactions in vivo and in vitro. We also explored the coverage of bacterial and human-bacterial PPIs, knowledge gaps in this area, and how they can be filled.
Expert commentary: Identifying potential antimicrobial candidates is confounded by the complex molecular biology of bacterial pathogenesis and the lack of knowledge about PPIs underlying this process. Proteomics approaches can offer new perspectives for mechanistic insights and identify essential targets for guiding the discovery of next generation antimicrobials.