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Microb Cell Fact. 2002 Dec 20;1(1):5.

Bacterial autoinduction: looking outside the cell for new metabolic engineering targets.

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Center for Biosystems Research, University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, Baltimore, Maryland, USA 20742.


Recent evidence has demonstrated that cell-to-cell signaling is a fundamental activity carried out by numerous microorganisms. A number of specialized processes are reported to be regulated by density-dependent signaling molecules including antibiotic production, bioluminescence, biofilm formation, genetic competence, sporulation, swarming motility and virulence. However, a more centralized role for quorum sensing is emerging where quorum signaling pathways overlap with stress and starvation circuits to regulate cellular adaptation to changing environmental conditions. The interplay of these phenomena is especially critical in the expression of recombinant proteins where elicitation of stress responses can dramatically impact cellular productivity.

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