New preprint suggests the mechanism of cross-kingdom host jumps

Some bacteria can 'jump' from plants to immunocompromised humans — but how do they do it? Probably, they use universal oxylipin signalling to "spoof" the host's immune interactions.

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"One day, while walking along a park, I was suddenly kicked in the head by an emerging pathogen that fell from an oak tree. Two weeks in a hospital — it was LOX-positive!"

This cannot happen, and it is really just a stretch joke. But it reflects some ideas from my new preprint on BioRxiv.

Lipoxygenase preprint promotional card

Indeed, some emerging bacterial pathogens show cross-kingdom properties. It means they can "jump' from one species to another even if they belong to different kingdoms of life. For instance, some plant pathogens can affect immunocompromised people or people with cystic fibrosis. 

In the course of our previous research, we have suspected that oxylipin bacterium-host signalling could contribute to plant-human host jumps. In this research, we further elaborate this hypothesis and try to find new bioinformatic evidence for it from network text analysis, phylogenetics, and binding site structure analysis.

Caution: this article is a preprint, and it is not yet peer-reviewed. Please read it carefully. And I will appreciate your comments, criticism, and suggestions (if any). I am going to discuss these findings at two nearest conferences: FEMS 2022 in Belgrade and ISMB 2022 in Madison. Then, I will think where to publish this article in a final form.

Georgy Kurakin

Teaching Assistant, Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University