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Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek. 2006 Aug;90(2):109-21. Epub 2006 Aug 2.

LuxS-mediated signalling in Streptococcus anginosus and its role in biofilm formation.

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Department of Oral Biology, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Oslo, PK1 Gaustad, Oslo, N0316, Norway.


The autoinducer-2 signal (AI-2) produced by several Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria mediates interspecies communication. In this study we were able to identify an orthologue of luxS, required for the synthesis of AI-2 signals, in Streptococcus anginosus. Comparative analyses revealed conserved sequences in the predicted S. anginosus LuxS. Expression of luxS was highest during early exponential growth phase. Compared to other oral streptococci, conditioned media from growth of members of the anginosus group were the most efficient in inducing bioluminescence in Vibrio harveyi, indicative of AI-2 signalling. Disruption of luxS in S. anginosus resulted in a mutant deficient in biofilm formation, whereas no effect on planktonic growth rate was observed under various growth conditions. S. anginosus is part of the human flora found in biofilms of the oral cavity, as well as of the upper respiratory, gastrointestinal and urogenital tracts. Such habitats harbour large varieties of bacterial species, among which cell-cell communication may play an important role. S. anginosus has also been associated with purulent infections and cancer in the upper digestive tract. Knowledge about the molecular mechanisms involved in S. anginosus communication is important for understanding its commensalism and its pathogenic transition.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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