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Res Microbiol. 2000 Jul-Aug;151(6):445-51.

Regulation of competence for genetic transformation in Streptococcus pneumoniae: a link between quorum sensing and DNA processing genes.

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Department of Biological Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA.


Competence for genetic transformation in pneumococcus depends on the coordinated functioning of a dispersed regulon responsible for production of proteins active in DNA binding, uptake, and recombination. This regulon is characterized by a shared noncanonical promoter consensus, TACGAATA, and is capable of 100-fold expression modulations. This review discusses recent evidence that its regulation depends on a novel sigma factor, itself controlled by an autostimulatory quorum sensing system that acts through an extracellular peptide signal.

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