Physiology of guanosine-based second messenger signaling in Bacillus subtilis

Biol Chem. 2020 Nov 26;401(12):1307-1322. doi: 10.1515/hsz-2020-0241.


The guanosine-based second messengers (p)ppGpp and c-di-GMP are key players of the physiological regulation of the Gram-positive model organism Bacillus subtilis. Their regulatory spectrum ranges from key metabolic processes over motility to biofilm formation. Here we review our mechanistic knowledge on their synthesis and degradation in response to environmental and stress signals as well as what is known on their cellular effectors and targets. Moreover, we discuss open questions and our gaps in knowledge on these two important second messengers.

Keywords: Bacillus subtilis; (p)ppGpp; alarmone; c-di-GMP; signaling.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Bacillus subtilis / metabolism*
  • Cyclic GMP / analogs & derivatives*
  • Cyclic GMP / metabolism
  • Guanosine / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction


  • Guanosine
  • bis(3',5')-cyclic diguanylic acid
  • Cyclic GMP