Bacterial differentiation via gradual activation of global regulators.

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Abstract

Bacteria have evolved to adapt to various conditions and respond to certain stress conditions. The ability to sense and efficiently reply to these environmental effects involve versatile array of sensors and global or specific regulators. Interestingly, modulation of the levels of active global regulators enables bacteria to respond to diverse signals via a single central transcriptional regulator and to activate or repress certain differentiation pathways at a spatio-temporal manner. The Gram-positive Bacillus subtilis is an ideal bacterium to study how membrane bound and cytoplasmic sensor kinases affect the level of phosphorylated global regulator, Spo0A which in response activates genes related to sliding, biofilm formation, and sporulation. In addition, other global regulators, including the two-component system DegS-DegU, modulate overlapping and complementary genes in B. subtilis related to surface colonization and biofilm formation. The intertwinement of global regulatory systems also allows the accurate modulation of differentiation pathways. Studies in the last decade enable us to get a deeper insight into the role of global regulators on the smooth transition of developmental processes in B. subtilis.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Genetics
Volume62
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)125-128
ISSN0172-8083
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Global regulator
  • Sensor kinase
  • Sliding
  • Biofilm formation
  • Sporulation
  • Bacillus subtilis

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