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APPLIED AND ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY, Jan. 2008, p. 437445 Vol. 74, No. 2 0099-2240/08/$08.00 0 doi:10.1128/AEM.01688-07
 

Summary: APPLIED AND ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY, Jan. 2008, p. 437445 Vol. 74, No. 2
0099-2240/08/$08.00 0 doi:10.1128/AEM.01688-07
Copyright 2008, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
Implications of Rewiring Bacterial Quorum Sensing
Eric L. Haseltine and Frances H. Arnold*
Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering 210-41, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125
Received 23 July 2007/Accepted 13 November 2007
Bacteria employ quorum sensing, a form of cell-cell communication, to sense changes in population density
and regulate gene expression accordingly. This work investigated the rewiring of one quorum-sensing module,
the lux circuit from the marine bacterium Vibrio fischeri. Steady-state experiments demonstrate that rewiring
the network architecture of this module can yield graded, threshold, and bistable gene expression as predicted
by a mathematical model. The experiments also show that the native lux operon is most consistent with a
threshold, as opposed to a bistable, response. Each of the rewired networks yielded functional population
sensors at biologically relevant conditions, suggesting that this operon is particularly robust. These findings (i)
permit prediction of the behaviors of quorum-sensing operons in bacterial pathogens and (ii) facilitate forward
engineering of synthetic gene circuits.
In bacteria, broadcasting of metabolite or small peptide sig-
naling molecules enables sensing of changes in population
density (18, 37, 57). This mechanism, known as quorum sens-
ing, has been implicated in regulating the virulence factors in a

  

Source: Arnold, Frances H. - Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology

 

Collections: Chemistry; Biology and Medicine