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Table 1 Basic elements of the quorum sensing systems in bacteria

From: Bench-to-bedside review: Quorum sensing and the role of cell-to-cell communication during invasive bacterial infection

Type Sensing molecules Receptor(s) Special features
Autoinducer type 1, LuxR-I type N-acyl-homoserine lactones Intracellular Lux-R homologues as transcriptional coactivator Found in Gram-negative bacteria (Burkholderia, Vibrio, Pseudomonas spp.); might affect human genes
Autoinducer type 2, LuxS type Heterocyclic furanosylborate Two-component membrane receptor-cytoplasmic kinase complex Widespread in Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria; might be a primary metabolic system rather than a communication system
Autoinducer type 3, epinephrine/norepinephrine signaling system Catecholamine-like molecules Two-component membrane-sensor kinase/response regulator (QseBC) Found in Gram-negative, enteric bacteria enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli, enteropathogenic E. coli, Shigella, Salmonella spp.; functional role unclear at present
Cyclic short-peptide systems (AgrC/AgrA, staphylococci; competence stimulating peptide, pneumococci; Enterococcus faecalis regulator, enterococci) Small cyclic peptides with thiolactone ring Two-component sensor kinase (AgrC)-response regulator (AgrA) Gram-positive bacteria, Staphylococcus, Bacillus, Enterococcus, Streptococcus spp.
  1. Agr, accessory gene regulator; QseBC, autoinducer type 3 system in enteric bacteria.