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J Bacteriol. 2005 Dec;187(24):8350-60.

luxS-dependent gene regulation in Escherichia coli K-12 revealed by genomic expression profiling.

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Center for Biosystems Research, University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, College Park, MD 20742, USA.


The bacterial quorum-sensing autoinducer 2 (AI-2) has received intense interest because the gene for its synthase, luxS, is common among a large number of bacterial species. We have identified luxS-controlled genes in Escherichia coli under two different growth conditions using DNA microarrays. Twenty-three genes were affected by luxS deletion in the presence of glucose, and 63 genes were influenced by luxS deletion in the absence of glucose. Minimal overlap among these gene sets suggests the role of luxS is condition dependent. Under the latter condition, the metE gene, the lsrACDBFG operon, and the flanking genes of the lsr operon (lsrR, lsrK, tam, and yneE) were among the most significantly induced genes by luxS. The E. coli lsr operon includes an additional gene, tam, encoding an S-adenosyl-l-methionine-dependent methyltransferase. Also, lsrR and lsrK belong to the same operon, lsrRK, which is positively regulated by the cyclic AMP receptor protein and negatively regulated by LsrR. lsrK is additionally transcribed by a promoter between lsrR and lsrK. Deletion of luxS was also shown to affect genes involved in methionine biosynthesis, methyl transfer reactions, iron uptake, and utilization of carbon. It was surprising, however, that so few genes were affected by luxS deletion in this E. coli K-12 strain under these conditions. Most of the highly induced genes are related to AI-2 production and transport. These data are consistent with the function of LuxS as an important metabolic enzyme but appear not to support the role of AI-2 as a true signal molecule for E. coli W3110 under the investigated conditions.

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