One-component systems dominate signal transduction in prokaryotes

Trends Microbiol. 2005 Feb;13(2):52-6. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2004.12.006.


Two-component systems that link environmental signals to cellular responses are viewed as the primary mode of signal transduction in prokaryotes. By analyzing information encoded by 145 prokaryotic genomes, we found that the majority of signal transduction systems consist of a single protein that contains input and output domains but lacks phosphotransfer domains typical of two-component systems. One-component systems are evolutionarily older, more widely distributed among bacteria and archaea, and display a greater diversity of domains than two-component systems.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Archaea / genetics
  • Archaea / physiology
  • Bacterial Physiological Phenomena
  • Genome, Archaeal
  • Genome, Bacterial
  • Prokaryotic Cells / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*