Younghoon Kim

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One mechanism by which bacteria survive environmental stress is through the formation of bacterial persisters, a sub-population of genetically identical quiescent cells that exhibit multidrug tolerance and are highly enriched in bacterial toxins. Recently, the Escherichia coli gene mqsR (b3022) was identified as the gene most highly upregulated in(More)
P granules and other RNA/protein bodies are membrane-less organelles that may assemble by intracellular phase separation, similar to the condensation of water vapor into droplets. However, the molecular driving forces and the nature of the condensed phases remain poorly understood. Here, we show that the Caenorhabditis elegans protein LAF-1, a DDX3 RNA(More)
Although it is well recognized that bacteria respond to environmental stress through global networks, the mechanism by which stress is relayed to the interior of the cell is poorly understood. Here we show that enigmatic toxin-antitoxin systems are vital in mediating the environmental stress response. Specifically, the antitoxin MqsA represses rpoS, which(More)
Phages are the most abundant entity in the biosphere and outnumber bacteria by a factor of 10. Phage DNA may also constitute 20% of bacterial genomes; however, its role is ill defined. Here, we explore the impact of cryptic prophages on cell physiology by precisely deleting all nine prophage elements (166 kbp) using Escherichia coli. We find that cryptic(More)
Methicillin resistance in Staphylococcus aureus depends on the production of mecA, which encodes penicillin-binding protein 2A (PBP2A), an acquired peptidoglycan transpeptidase (TP) with reduced susceptibility to β-lactam antibiotics. PBP2A cross-links nascent peptidoglycan when the native TPs are inhibited by β-lactams. Although mecA expression is(More)
Polymersomes are polymer-based vesicular shells that form upon hydration of amphiphilic block copolymers. These high molecular weight amphiphiles impart physicochemical properties that allow polymersomes to stably encapsulate or integrate a broad range of active molecules. This robustness together with recently described mechanisms for controlled breakdown(More)
Persisters are cells which evade stresses like antibiotics and which are characterized by reduced metabolism and a lack of genetic alterations required to achieve this state. We showed previously that MqsR and MqsA of Escherichia coli are a toxin-antitoxin pair that influence cell physiology (e.g., biofilm formation and motility) via RNase activity as well(More)
Previously we identified that the Escherichia coli protein MqsR (YgiU) functions as a toxin and that it is involved in the regulation of motility by quorum sensing signal autoinducer-2 (AI-2). Furthermore, MqsR is directly associated with biofilm development and is linked to the development of persister cells. Here we show that MqsR and MqsA (YgiT) are a(More)
We discovered previously that the small Escherichia coli proteins Hha (hemolysin expression modulating protein) and the adjacent, poorly-characterized YbaJ are important for biofilm formation; however, their roles have been nebulous. Biofilms are intricate communities in which cell signaling often converts single cells into primitive tissues. Here we show(More)
This article identifies novel factors involved in cholesterol reduction by probiotic bacteria, which were identified using genetic and proteomic approaches. Approximately 600 Lactobacillus acidophilus A4 mutants were created by random mutagenesis. The cholesterol-reducing ability of each mutant was determined and verified using two different methods: the(More)