Bacterial type I toxin-antitoxin systems consist of stable toxin-encoding mRNAs whose expression is counteracted by unstable RNA antitoxins. Accumulating evidence suggests that these players belong to broad regulatory networks influencing overall bacterial physiology. The majority of known transmembrane type I toxic peptides have conserved structural characteristics. However, recent studies demonstrated that their mechanisms of toxicity are diverse and complex. To better assess the current state of the art, type I toxins can be grouped into two classes according to their location and mechanisms of action: membrane-associated toxins acting by pore formation and/or by nucleoid condensation; and cytosolic toxins inducing nucleic acid cleavage. This classification will evolve as a result of future investigations.
Brielle, R., Pinel-Marie, M. L., & Felden, B. (2016, April 1). Linking bacterial type I toxins with their actions. Current Opinion in Microbiology. Elsevier Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mib.2016.01.009