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Sci Prog. 2005;88(Pt 4):203-28.

Two-component signal transduction systems as key players in stress responses of lactic acid bacteria.

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Dairy Science and Technology Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Mansoura University, Egypt.


Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) continue as an important group of gram-positive bacteria that have been extensively exploited in food industries and various biotechnological applications. Some LAB species are, however, opportunistic pathogens and were reported to be associated with overwhelming number of human infections. During the use of LAB in industry or over the course of human infection, these bacteria are exposed to environmental stress. While LAB display adaptive mechanisms to cope with adverse conditions, the regulation of these mechanisms remains to be elucidated. Recent completion of genome sequencing of various LAB strains combined with the development of advanced molecular techniques have enabled the identification of a number of putative two-component signal transduction systems, also known as two-component regulatory systems (2CRS), in LAB. Examining the effect of deleting genes specifying putative 2CRS proteins in these organisms has revealed the involvement of 2CRS in the responses of LAB to different stresses. There are lines of evidence indicating that certain 2CRS may mediate a general stress response in Enterococcus faecalis and Streptococcus pyogenes. This review highlights the influence of 2CRS on the physiology of LAB during optimal growth and survival/growth on exposure to environmental stress.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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