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Res Microbiol. 2000 Jul-Aug;151(6):493-6.

Sex pheromones and gene transfer in Enterococcus faecalis.

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Mikrobiologie-NWF III, Regensburg, Germany.


Cell-density-dependent regulatory controls have been recognized in recent years to play major roles with regard to many microorganisms. In gram-negative bacteria very often N-acyl-homoserine lactones act as 'quorum-sensing' regulators, whilst gram-positive bacteria mainly use peptides to monitor their cell density. The so-called sex pheromone system of Enterococcus faecalis is just one example of the latter type of regulation. The system is a complex one; in this communication, I will discuss in particular the potential role of the peptides to also act as virulence factors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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