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Mol Microbiol. 1995 Sep;17(5):801-12.

Transcriptional regulation of bioluminesence genes from Vibrio fischeri.

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1
Department of Biochemistry, Texas A&M University, College Station 77843-2128, USA.

Abstract

The phenomenon of cell-density-dependent control of gene expression, called autoinduction, has long been a subject of interest and investigation in bioluminescent marine bacteria. It is now becoming clear that many other bacteria, including animal and plant pathogens, use an autoinduction mechanism to regulate a variety of functions. Cell-density-dependent gene expression provides an excellent example of multicellular behaviour in the prokaryotic kingdom where a single cell is able to communicate and sense when a minimal population unit, a 'quorum' of bacteria, is achieved in order for certain behaviour of the population to be performed efficiently. Regulation of bacterial bioluminescence has been studied for many years and represents the best model system for understanding the mechanism of cell-density-dependent gene expression. This review will focus on transcriptional regulation of the Vibrio fischeri luminescence genes emphasizing the role of the transcriptional activator LuxR and possible autoinduction mechanisms that occur in E. coli. Alternative views and opinions regarding the molecular details of the autoinduction mechanism will be discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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