About the Workshop
Toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are ubiquitous among bacteria and are an emerging topic of high importance in both fundamental and translational research. Initially described as plasmid stabilization elements in bacteria, they have been since shown to be stress responsive elements that enable bacteria to adapt their growth and to thwart some phage infections, acting as an innate immune system that complements adaptive, CRISPR-based immunity. They are also involved in the formation of persister cells, non-growing bacteria refractory to antibiotic treatment. Recent years have seen an explosion in the identification of new toxin families, driven largely by genomic and metagenomic sequencing projects, as well as functional and structural characterizations. Toxins target a range of cellular processes in bacteria to arrest growth. Unveiling these targets highlights bacterial vulnerabilities that could be exploited by next-generation antibiotics. Whether TAs are considered as persistence triggers that need to be silenced or formidable tools to reveal and access new potential drug targets, they are under intense investigation. This workshop will provide a comfortable and stimulating setting to disseminate, exchange, and compare new insights into these systems, while facilitating and reinforcing synergistic interplay between the research groups studying them.