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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 1996 Jun 1;139(2-3):89-95.

A Myxococcus xanthus cell density-sensing system required for multicellular development.

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Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, University of Texas Medical School at Houston 77030, USA.


Progression through early Myxococcus xanthus multicellular fruiting body development requires the generation of and response to extracellular A signal. Extracellular A signal is a specific set of amino acids at an extracellular concentration greater than 10 muM. It functions as a cell density signal during starvation that allows the cells to sense that a minimal cell density has been reached and development can proceed. The generation of extracellular A signal requires the products of three asg genes. They have recently been identified as AsgA, a fused two-component histidine protein kinase and response regulator; AsgB, a putative DNA-binding protein; and AsgC, the M, xanthus major sigma factor. Other elements of the A signaling pathway map to the sasB locus and appear to be A signal transducers. These elements are regulators of the earliest A signal-dependent gene, whose promoter is a member of the sigma-54 family. Continued study of the A signaling pathway is expected to identify additional components of this network required for the complex behavioural response of fruiting body formation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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