How bacteria talk to each other: Regulation of gene expression by quorum sensing

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Quorum sensing, or the control of gene expression in response to cell density, is used by both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria to regulate a variety of physiological functions. In all cases, quorum sensing involves the production and detection of extracellular signalling molecules called autoinducers. While universal signalling themes exist, variations in the design of the extracellular signals, the signal detection apparatuses, and the biochemical mechanisms of signal relay have allowed quorum sensing systems to be exquisitely adapted for their varied uses. Recent studies show that quorum sensing modulates both intra- and inter-species cell-cell communication, and it plays a major role in enabling bacteria to architect complex community structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)582-587
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent opinion in microbiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Microbiology


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