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Trends Cell Biol. 2016 Apr;26(4):262-271. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2015.11.002. Epub 2015 Dec 5.

Autocrine Signaling and Quorum Sensing: Extreme Ends of a Common Spectrum.

Author information

1
Department of Bionanoscience, Delft University of Technology, Delft 2628CJ, The Netherlands; Kavli Institute of Nanoscience, Delft University of Technology, Delft 2628CJ, The Netherlands.
2
Department of Bionanoscience, Delft University of Technology, Delft 2628CJ, The Netherlands; Kavli Institute of Nanoscience, Delft University of Technology, Delft 2628CJ, The Netherlands. Electronic address: h.youk@tudelft.nl.

Abstract

'Secrete-and-sense cells' can communicate by secreting a signaling molecule while also producing a receptor that detects the molecule. The cell can potentially 'talk' to itself ('self-communication') or talk to neighboring cells with the same receptor ('neighbor communication'). The predominant forms of secrete-and-sense cells are self-communicating 'autocrine cells', which are largely found in animals, and neighbor-communicating 'quorum sensing cells', which are mostly associated with bacteria. While assumed to function independently of one another, recent studies have discovered quorum-sensing organs and autocrine-signaling microbes. Moreover, similar types of genetic circuit control many autocrine and quorum-sensing cells. Here, we outline these recent findings and explain how autocrine and quorum sensing are two sides of a many-sided 'dice' created by the versatile secrete-and-sense cell.

KEYWORDS:

cell circuits; cell signaling; multicellular communication; multicellular systems; paracrine signaling; secrete-and-sense cells

PMID:
26671200
DOI:
10.1016/j.tcb.2015.11.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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