Heterogeneity in efflux pump expression predisposes antibiotic-resistant cells to mutation

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  09 Nov 2018:
Vol. 362, Issue 6415, pp. 686-690
DOI: 10.1126/science.aar7981

You are currently viewing the editor's summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Efflux pumps and mutation

Antibiotic resistance is an alarming and growing challenge. Bacteria show great heterogeneity in growth and mutation rates. Such variability allows some cells to persist during transient antibiotic exposure. During this persistent phase, mutations accumulate, which can result in selection for full-blown antibiotic resistance. El Meouche and Dunlop found that increased expression of efflux pumps on some cells affords them some relief from antibiotic toxicity. But up-regulating efflux pumps is costly for the bacteria, reducing growth rate and expression of MutS, a protein involved in DNA mismatch repair. These changes thus lift the lid on increased levels of bacterial mutation.

Science, this issue p. 686