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The Colorful World of Extracellular Electron Shuttles

Glasser, Nathaniel R. and Saunders, Scott H. and Newman, Dianne K. (2017) The Colorful World of Extracellular Electron Shuttles. Annual Review of Microbiology, 71 . pp. 731-751. ISSN 0066-4227. PMCID PMC5679407. doi:10.1146/annurev-micro-090816-093913.

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Descriptions of the changeable, striking colors associated with secreted natural products date back well over a century. These molecules can serve as extracellular electron shuttles (EESs) that permit microbes to access substrates at a distance. In this review, we argue that the colorful world of EESs has been too long neglected. Rather than simply serving as a diagnostic attribute of a particular microbial strain, redox-active natural products likely play fundamental, underappreciated roles in the biology of their producers, particularly those that inhabit biofilms. Here, we describe the chemical diversity and potential distribution of EES producers and users, discuss the costs associated with their biosynthesis, and critically evaluate strategies for their economical usage. We hope this review will inspire efforts to identify and explore the importance of EES cycling by a wide range of microorganisms so that their contributions to shaping microbial communities can be better assessed and exploited.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription eprint access CentralArticle
Glasser, Nathaniel R.0000-0002-2833-5166
Saunders, Scott H.0000-0003-4224-9106
Newman, Dianne K.0000-0003-1647-1918
Additional Information:© 2017 Annual Reviews. Review in Advance first posted online on July 21, 2017. We thank Leonard Tender, Matthew Yates, and members of the Newman lab for helpful comments on the manuscript; Muir Morrison, Tal Einav, and Manuel Razo for guidance in deriving the three-dimensional diffusion model; and Tomislav Ivankovic for allowing us to use his memorable microbial artwork in Figure 1. Financial support from the Donna and Benjamin M. Rosen Bioengineering Center, NIH (1R01AI127850-01A1), and ARO (W911NF-17-1-0024) enabled this work. Disclosure Statement: The authors are not aware of any affiliations, memberships, funding, or financial holdings that might be perceived as affecting the objectivity of this review.
Group:Rosen Bioengineering Center
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Donna and Benjamin M. Rosen Bioengineering CenterUNSPECIFIED
Army Research Office (ARO)W911NF-17-1-0024
Subject Keywords:extracellular electron shuttle, metabolism, microbial diversity, public goods, redox chemistry
PubMed Central ID:PMC5679407
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170724-072743727
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:79281
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:24 Jul 2017 15:03
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 17:47

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