Cyclic di-GMP Signaling Systems in the Gram-Positive Bacillus cereus Group

  • Wen Yin
  • Lu Liu
  • Siyang Xu
  • Jin HeEmail author


Cyclic di-GMP is a nucleotide second messenger molecule widely distributed in Gram-negative bacteria and plays a central role in the regulation of bacterial metabolism and signaling. However, its importance in affecting Gram-positive bacterial physiology is less known. The Bacillus cereus group is an important class of Gram-positive Bacilli, including more than ten species such as B. thuringiensis, B. anthracis, and B. cereus with minute genetic differences. Intriguingly, there exist up to 13 cyclic di-GMP turnover enzymes containing functional domains GGDEF, EAL, or HD-GYP as well as signal sensor domains such as PAS and GAF domains in the B. cereus group strains, which are stimulated by environmental signals to regulate intracellular cyclic di-GMP concentration. Cyclic di-GMP can bind to downstream receptors or targets to perform its biological functions. Its downstream receptors or targets are mainly proteins and RNA aptamers, although protein receptors have not yet been reported in the B. cereus group strains. The RNA receptors are mostly riboswitches, including Bc1 RNA, Bc2 RNA, and Bc3-5 RNA. Cyclic di-GMP is involved extensively in affecting various physiological activities of bacteria, such as cell motility, biofilm formation, exopolysaccharides synthesis, and expression of pathogenic factors. In this chapter, we review the features of cyclic di-GMP turnover enzymes, the homeostasis of cyclic di-GMP, the study of receptors/targets, and the function of cyclic di-GMP in regulation of physiology in Gram-positive B. cereus group.


Bacillus cereus group Cyclic di-GMP Diguanylate cyclase (DGC) Cyclic di-GMP-specific phosphodiesterase (PDE) Receptor Riboswitch Regulation functions 



This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grants 31770087 and 31970074) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (grants 2662015PY175 and 2662017PY112), and the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2018M630872). We would like to thank Shan-Ho Chou of NCHU Agricultural Biotechnology Center, Institute of Biochemistry, National Chung Hsing University for reading the manuscript and for insightful discussions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Agricultural MicrobiologyCollege of Life Science and Technology, Huazhong Agricultural UniversityWuhanPeople’s Republic of China

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