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Microbiology. 2002 Mar;148(Pt 3):773-82.

Detection and mutation of a luxS-encoded autoinducer in Proteus mirabilis.

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Center of Marine Biotechnology, University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, 701 East Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21202, USA.


Quorum sensing regulates the expression of virulence factors in a wide variety of pathogenic bacteria. This study has shown that Proteus mirabilis harbours a homologue of luxS, a gene required for the synthesis of the quorum sensing autoinducer 2 (AI-2). AI-2 activity is expressed during and is correlated with the initiation of swarming migration on agar surfaces. The P. mirabilis luxS locus was cloned and a LuxS(-) strain constructed by allelic-exchange mutagenesis. While lacking AI-2 activity, a null mutation in luxS, however, did not affect swimming or swarming motility, swarmer cell differentiation, or virulence in a mouse model of ascending urinary tract infection.

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