Vallo Varik

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Uropathogenic strains of Escherichia coli (UPEC) are the major cause of bacteremic urinary tract infections. Survival in the bloodstream is associated with different mechanisms that help to resist serum complement-mediated killing. While the phenotypic heterogeneity of bacteria has been shown to influence antibiotic tolerance, the possibility that it makes(More)
The stringent response is a central adaptation mechanism that allows bacteria to adjust their growth and metabolism according to environmental conditions. The functionality of the stringent response is crucial for bacterial virulence, survival during host invasion as well as antibiotic resistance and tolerance. Therefore, specific inhibitors of the(More)
The transition of Escherichia coli from the exponential into the stationary phase of growth induces the stringent response, which is mediated by the rapid accumulation of the alarmone nucleotide (p)ppGpp produced by the enzyme RelA. The significance of RelA's functionality during the transition in the opposite direction, i.e. from the stationary phase into(More)
Aminoacyl tRNA synthetases are enzymes involved in the key process of coupling an amino acid to its cognate tRNA. AN3365 is a novel antibiotic that specifically targets leucyl-tRNA synthetase, whose development was halted after evaluation in phase II clinical trials owing to the rapid selection of resistance. In an attempt to bring AN3365 back into the(More)
The nucleotide (p)ppGpp is a key regulator of bacterial metabolism, growth, stress tolerance, and virulence. During amino acid starvation, the Escherichia coli (p)ppGpp synthetase RelA is activated by deacylated tRNA in the ribosomal A-site. An increase in (p)ppGpp is believed to drive the formation of antibiotic-tolerant persister cells, prompting the(More)
Here we describe an HPLC-based method to quantify bacterial housekeeping nucleotides and the signaling messengers ppGpp and pppGpp. We have replicated and tested several previously reported HPLC-based approaches and assembled a method that can process 50 samples in three days, thus making kinetically resolved experiments feasible. The method combines cell(More)
The alarmone nucleotide (p)ppGpp is a key regulator of bacterial metabolism, growth, stress tolerance and virulence, making (p)ppGpp-mediated signaling a promising target for development of antibacterials. Although ppGpp itself is an activator of the ribosome-associated ppGpp synthetase RelA, several ppGpp mimics have been developed as RelA inhibitors.(More)
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