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REVIEW: The Sodium Cycle in Vibrio cholerae: Riddles in the Dark

P. Dibrov

Department of Microbiology, Room 425 Buller Bldg., Fort Garry campus, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 2N2 Canada; fax: (204) 474-7603; E-mail: dibrovp@ms.umanitoba.ca

Received September 26, 2004
Twenty years ago, V. P. Skulachev put forward the revolutionary concept of the chemiosmotic sodium cycle which is an integral of the paradigm of modern bioenergetics. This fundamental concept stimulated studies in many areas and yielded plenty of sometimes quite unexpected (and thus most valuable) discoveries. In particular, variations of the sodium cycle have been found in a surprisingly large number of pathogenic microorganisms, raising the question about the possible link of sodium energetics and virulence. This brief review discusses some paradoxes related to the Na+ cycle in an important human pathogen, Vibrio cholerae.
KEY WORDS: sodium cycle, Vibrio cholerae, oxidative phosphorylation, Na+/H+ antiport, NhaD, arsenate resistance