Multiple signalling systems controlling expression of luminescence in Vibrio harveyi: sequence and function of genes encoding a second sensory pathway

Mol Microbiol. 1994 Jul;13(2):273-86. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.1994.tb00422.x.


Density-dependent expression of luminescence in Vibrio harveyi is regulated by the concentration of extracellular signal molecules (autoinducers) in the culture medium. One signal-response system is encoded by the luxL,M,N locus. The luxL and luxM genes are required for the production of an autoinducer (probably beta-hydroxybutyl homoserine lactone), and the luxN gene is required for the response to that autoinducer. Analysis of the phenotypes of LuxL,M and N mutants indicated that an additional signal-response system also controls density sensing. We report here the identification, cloning and analysis of luxP and luxQ, which encode functions required for a second density-sensing system. Mutants with defects in luxP and luxQ are defective in response to a second autoinducer substance. LuxQ, like LuxN, is similar to members of the family of two-component, signal transduction proteins and contains both a histidine protein kinase and a response regulator domain. Analysis of signalling mutant phenotypes indicates that there are at least two separate signal-response pathways which converge to regulate expression of luminescence in V. harveyi.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • 4-Butyrolactone / analogs & derivatives
  • 4-Butyrolactone / metabolism
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Bacterial Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / physiology*
  • Base Sequence
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial*
  • Luminescent Measurements*
  • Models, Biological
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagenesis, Insertional
  • Phenotype
  • Phosphorylation
  • Phosphotransferases*
  • Protein Kinases / biosynthesis
  • Protein Kinases / genetics
  • Protein Kinases / physiology*
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Repressor Proteins / genetics
  • Repressor Proteins / physiology
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Trans-Activators*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / physiology
  • Vibrio / genetics
  • Vibrio / physiology*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • LuxO protein, Vibrio harveyi
  • LuxP protein, Vibrio
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transcription Factors
  • luxL protein, Vibrio harveyi
  • luxM protein, Vibrio harveyi
  • LuxR autoinducer binding proteins
  • N-(3-oxohexanoyl)-3-aminodihydro-2(3H)-furanone
  • Phosphotransferases
  • Protein Kinases
  • luxN protein, Vibrio harveyi
  • luxQ protein, Vibrio harveyi
  • 4-Butyrolactone

Associated data

  • GENBANK/U07069