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Molecular Mechanisms of Signaling in Myxococcus xanthus Development. J Mol Biol 2016 09 25;428(19):3805-30



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-84986915805   25 Citations


Myxococcus xanthus is an environmental bacterium that displays a complex life cycle that includes motility, predation, multicellular fruiting body development, and sporulation. Given the elaborate fruiting body development of this bacterial species, M. xanthus has served as a model organism for the study of multicellular development of bacteria, and a remarkable number of genes have been identified that contribute to the regulation of this highly dynamic process. Included among these developmental factors is a robust repertoire of signaling proteins, which have arisen from extensive gene duplication in M. xanthus and related species. In this review, we explore several aspects of the molecular mechanisms of signaling in M. xanthus development. This includes mechanisms of kin selection, single-cell sensing of nutrient depletion and the stringent response, the production of and response to extracellular population cues, and the contribution of several two-component signaling systems regulating developmental transcriptional programs. Collectively, these signaling mechanisms function to tightly regulate the sensing of nutrient depletion, the aggregation of populations of cells, and the temporal and spatial formation of complex fruiting bodies and sporulation of M. xanthus.

Author List

Bretl DJ, Kirby JR


John Kirby PhD Chair, Center Associate Director, Professor in the Microbiology and Immunology department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
Microbial Interactions
Myxococcus xanthus
Signal Transduction