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Mol Microbiol. 2019 May 22. doi: 10.1111/mmi.14307. [Epub ahead of print]

Discovery of the Extracytoplasmic Function σ Factors.

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Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, 250 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA, 02139, USA.
Department of Bacteriology, Wisconsin Energy Institute, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, 53706, USA.
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, 94158, USA.
Department of Molecular Microbiology, John Innes Centre, Norwich Research Park, Norwich, NR4 7UH, UK.


This special issue of Molecular Microbiology marks the 25th anniversary of the discovery of the Extracytoplasmic Function (ECF) σ factors, proteins that subsequently emerged as the largest group of alternative σ factors and one of the three major pillars of signal transduction in bacteria, alongside one- and two-component systems. A single bacterial genome can encode >100 ECF σ factors, and combined with their cognate anti-σ factors, they represent a modular design that primarily functions in transmembrane signal transduction. Here, we first describe the immediate events that led to the 1994 publication in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences USA, and then set them in the broader context of key events in the history of σ biology research. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.


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