Gram-negative bacterial membrane vesicle release in response to the host-environment: different threats, same trick?

Charlotte Volgers, Paul H. M. Savelkoul, Frank R. M. Stassen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Bacteria are confronted with a multitude of stressors when occupying niches within the host. These stressors originate from host defense mechanisms, other bacteria during niche competition or result from physiological challenges such as nutrient limitation. To counteract these stressors, bacteria have developed a stress-induced network to mount the adaptations required for survival. These stress-induced adaptations include the release of membrane vesicles from the bacterial envelope. Membrane vesicles can provide bacteria with a plethora of immediate and ultimate benefits for coping with environmental stressors. This review addresses how membrane vesicles aid Gram-negative bacteria to cope with host-associated stress factors, focusing on vesicle biogenesis and the physiological functions. As many of the pathways, that drive vesicle biogenesis, confer we propose that shedding of membrane vesicles by Gram-negative bacteria entails an integrated part of general stress responses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-273
JournalCritical reviews in microbiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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