Extra cytoplasmic function σ factor activation

Curr Opin Microbiol. 2012 Apr;15(2):182-8. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2012.01.001. Epub 2012 Feb 28.


The bacterial cell envelope is essential for cell viability and is a target for numerous antibiotics and host immune defenses. Thus bacteria must sense and respond to damage to the cell envelope. Many bacteria utilize alternative σ factors such as extracytoplasmic function (ECF) σ factors to respond to cell envelope stress. Although ECF σ factors are utilized by both Gram negative and Gram positive bacteria to respond to cell envelope stress, the mechanisms of sensing differ. In this review, we examine the events and proteins that are required for activation of two model extracytoplasmic function σ factors, σ(E) in E. coli and σ(W) in B. subtilis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacillus subtilis / genetics
  • Bacillus subtilis / metabolism*
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial*
  • Sigma Factor / genetics
  • Sigma Factor / metabolism*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Sigma Factor