PerspectiveMicrobiology

Peptide Signals Sense and Destroy Target Cells

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Science  24 Dec 2004:
Vol. 306, Issue 5705, pp. 2202-2203
DOI: 10.1126/science.1107236

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Summary

It is well established that bacteria secrete signals enabling them to communicate with other members of the same species and also with other bacterial populations. In an illuminating Perspective, Garsin discusses a cytolysin signal produced by a human pathogen, Enterococcus faecalis, that enables the bacterium to sense host target cells from afar and to ramp up production of cytolysin such that target cells are efficiently lysed ( Coburn et al.).