The staphylococcal locus encodes a quorum sensing (QS) system that controls the expression of virulence and other accessory genes by a classical two-component signaling module. Like QS modalities in other Gram-positive bacteria, encodes an autoactivating peptide (AIP) that is the inducing ligand for AgrC, the signal receptor. Unlike other such systems, variants have arisen that show strong cross-inhibition in heterologous combinations, with important evolutionary implications. Also unlike other systems, the effector of global gene regulation in the system is a major regulatory RNA, RNAIII. In this review, we describe the functions of the system's elements, show how they interact to bring about the regulatory response, and discuss the role of QS in staphylococcal pathobiology. We conclude with the suggestion that autoactivation, unlike classical enzyme induction, can occur under suboptimal conditions and can distinguish self from non-self by inducing an exclusive and coordinated population wide response.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Supplementary Data

  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error