Epigenetic Mechanisms in Bacteria Bridge Physiology, Growth and Host–Pathogen Interactions

Maria Miah, Mihaly Mezei, Shiraz Mujtaba

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Epigenetic mechanisms regulate the genomic expression and cellular processes without altering the DNA sequence. In bacteria, epigenetic mechanisms facilitate responses to changing environmental conditions along with enhanced functionality and cellular adaptations. Mutations in the mediators of epigenetic pathways cause phenotypic alterations. The major epigenetic modifications in bacteria include DNA methylation and posttranslational modifications such as acetylation, methylation, and phosphorylation of proteins. These molecular changes orchestrate bacterial virulence, cell growth, DNA repair, and interactions with eukaryotic hosts. Despite the availability of tools detecting epigenetic modifications, the mechanistic knowledge underlying these processes remains limited in bacteria. Given that the development of antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains is a high risk, these epigenetic pathways could serve as a new therapeutic target. This article integrates molecular and structural bases of epigenetic functions, which would help design highly selective tools for understanding the biology of enzymes toward developing new disease treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Epigenetics
Subtitle of host publicationThe New Molecular and Medical Genetics, Third Edition
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9780323919098
ISBN (Print)9780323919500
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • DNA methylation
  • Epigenetic mechanisms
  • lysine acetylation and methylation


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