, Volume 387, Issue 2, pp 381-390
Date: 05 Sep 2006

New insights into the regulatory mechanisms of the LuxR family of quorum sensing regulators

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Bacteria use small signal molecules, referred to as autoinducers, in order to monitor their population density and coordinate gene expression in a process named quorum sensing. In Gram-negative bacteria, acylated homoserine lactones are the most common autoinducer used for cell-to-cell communication. Increasing evidence that many different functions are controlled by acylated homoserine lactone quorum sensing has stimulated intensive investigations into the physiology, molecular biology and biochemistry that underlie this process. Here we review our current understanding of the molecular mechanisms used by the transcriptional regulators responsive to acylated homoserine lactone autoinducers to control gene expression and the structural modifications induced by acylated homoserine lactones binding specifically on these regulators.