Regulation of competence for genetic transformation in Streptococcus pneumoniae: a link between quorum sensing and DNA processing genes

Res Microbiol. Jul-Aug 2000;151(6):445-51. doi: 10.1016/s0923-2508(00)00171-6.


Competence for genetic transformation in pneumococcus depends on the coordinated functioning of a dispersed regulon responsible for production of proteins active in DNA binding, uptake, and recombination. This regulon is characterized by a shared noncanonical promoter consensus, TACGAATA, and is capable of 100-fold expression modulations. This review discusses recent evidence that its regulation depends on a novel sigma factor, itself controlled by an autostimulatory quorum sensing system that acts through an extracellular peptide signal.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins / physiology
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology
  • DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases / chemistry
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
  • Genes, Bacterial*
  • Genes, Duplicate
  • Models, Genetic
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Regulon
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Signal Transduction
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / enzymology
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / genetics*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / physiology*
  • Transformation, Bacterial*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • ComA protein, Bacteria
  • ComX protein, Streptococcus
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases