Virulence- and antibiotic resistance-associated two-component signal transduction systems of Gram-positive pathogenic bacteria as targets for antimicrobial therapy

Pharmacol Ther. Feb-Mar 2002;93(2-3):293-305. doi: 10.1016/s0163-7258(02)00198-5.


Two-component signal transduction systems are central elements of the virulence and antibiotic resistance responses of opportunistic bacterial pathogens. These systems allow the bacterium to sense and respond to signals emanating from the host environment and to modulate the repertoire of genes expressed to allow invasion and growth in the host. The integral role of two-component systems in virulence and antibiotic sensitivity, and the existence of essential two-component systems in several pathogenic bacteria, suggests that these systems may be novel targets for antimicrobial intervention. This review discusses the potential use of two-component systems as targets for antimicrobial therapy against Gram-positive pathogens and the current status in the development of inhibitors specific for these systems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Drug Resistance
  • Gram-Positive Bacteria* / drug effects
  • Gram-Positive Bacteria* / pathogenicity
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents