Antibiotic producing Streptomyces sense and respond to environmental signals by using nucleotide second messengers, including (p)ppGpp, cAMP, c-di-GMP and c-di-AMP. As summarized in this review, these molecules are important message carriers that coordinate the complex Streptomyces morphological transition from filamentous growth to sporulation along with the secondary metabolite production. Here, we provide an overview of the enzymes that make and break these second messengers and suggest candidates for (p)ppGpp and cAMP enzymes to be studied. We highlight the target molecules that bind these signalling molecules and elaborate individual functions that they control in the context of Streptomyces development. Finally, we discuss open questions in the field, which may guide future studies in this exciting research area.
Keywords: (p)ppGpp; Streptomyces; c-di-AMP; c-di-GMP; cAMP.