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J Bacteriol. 2004 Dec;186(23):7951-8.

Systematic inactivation and phenotypic characterization of two-component signal transduction systems of Enterococcus faecalis V583.

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  • 1Division of Cellular Biology, Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


The ability of enterococci to adapt and respond to different environmental stimuli, including the host environment, led us to investigate the role of two-component signal transduction in the regulation of Enterococcus faecalis physiology. Using a bioinformatic approach, we previously identified 17 two-component systems (TCS), consisting of a sensory histidine kinase and the cognate response regulator, as well as an additional orphan response regulator (L. E. Hancock and M. Perego, J. Bacteriol. 184:5819-5825, 2002). In an effort to identify the potential function of each TCS in the biology of E. faecalis clinical isolate strain V583, we constructed insertion mutations in each of the response regulators. We were able to inactivate 17 of 18 response regulators, the exception being an ortholog of YycF, previously shown to be essential for viability in a variety of gram-positive microorganisms. The biological effects of the remaining mutations were assessed by using a number of assays, including antibiotic resistance, biofilm formation, and environmental stress. We identified TCS related to antibiotic resistance and environmental stress and found one system which controls the initiation of biofilm development by E. faecalis.

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