E. coli competence

Tom Schneider toms at fcsparc6.ncifcrf.gov
Mon Sep 26 12:42:25 EST 1994

In article <1994Sep22.151757.1971 at msus1.msus.edu> Mark Lyte
(MOL13 at msus1.msus.edu) writes:

| Instead, I proposed (and have published four papers) that bacteria do in fact
| respond to neuroendocrine signals.  Specifically, my group has shown that the
| growth of gram-negative bacteria can be increased in a non-nutritional manner
| over 100,000-fold in response to certain neuroendocrine signals.  A simple
| difference of one carbon atom between one hormone and the next or its
| metabolite is enough to obviate any effect.  Further, the elaboration of
| virulence factors can also be influenced.

Have you tried using these molecules to increase or decrease competance????
;-)  Maybe you have the answer already!

| The evolution of microorganisms preceded that of vertebrates such as man.  Is
| it such a far stretch to suggest that bacteria can communicate with one
| another through various neuroendocrine hormones?  And if this is so, the
| presence of hormones in microorganisms therefore suggests that recognition of
| mammalian hormones by microorganisms might serve as a type of environmental
| cue by which microorganisms may sense their surroundings and initiate
| pathogenic processes.

This reminds me that Shapiro showed that bacteria grow on the edge of colonies,
and that colonies have structures.  Perhaps the phenomena are related, but
nobody has been able or tried to figure out how these effects occur.

  Tom Schneider
  National Cancer Institute
  Laboratory of Mathematical Biology
  Frederick, Maryland  21702-1201
  toms at ncifcrf.gov

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