The Diffusible Signal Factor Family of Bacterial Cell-Cell Signals

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Bacterial cell-to-cell signals of the diffusible signal factor (DSF) family are cis-2-unsaturated fatty acids that differ in their chain length and branching patterns. Signaling involving DSF family members occurs in diverse bacteria to include plant and human pathogens. In the majority of these organisms, the perception of DSF is linked to turnover of the second messenger cyclic di-GMP by one of two "core" pathways. Additional "accessory" signal transduction pathways can also be found, but are not widely conserved. DSF signaling acts to regulate diverse functions to include biofilm formation and architecture, antibiotic resistance, and the production of virulence factors in pathogens. DSF family signals can also participate in interspecies signaling with other bacteria and interkingdom signaling with the yeast Candida albicans. Such interactions may have importance in modifying microbial behavior during polymicrobial infections.


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  • Xylella fastidiosa