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Feb 11

What is process of quorum sensing in prokaryotic cells?

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Feb 11
Quorum sensing is a process by which prokaryotic cells communicate and coordinate their behavior based on the density of the population. It involves the production, release, and detection of signaling molecules called autoinducers.

The process of quorum sensing in prokaryotic cells typically involves the following steps:

1. Autoinducer production: When the population density of prokaryotic cells reaches a certain threshold, individual cells start producing and releasing small signaling molecules called autoinducers into the surrounding environment. Different species of bacteria produce different types of autoinducers.

2. Autoinducer diffusion: The autoinducers diffuse through the extracellular environment, allowing them to reach neighboring cells.

3. Autoinducer detection: When the concentration of autoinducers reaches a certain threshold, they are detected by specific receptors on the surface of the prokaryotic cells. These receptors are often transcription factors or membrane-bound proteins.

4. Signal transduction: Upon binding of the autoinducers to their receptors, a signal transduction pathway is activated inside the cell. This pathway often involves a series of protein-protein interactions and phosphorylation events.

5. Gene regulation: The activated signal transduction pathway leads to changes in gene expression within the prokaryotic cell. This can result in the upregulation or downregulation of specific genes, leading to the coordinated behavior of the population.

6. Coordinated behavior: The changes in gene expression induced by quorum sensing can result in various coordinated behaviors among the prokaryotic cells. These behaviors can include the production of virulence factors, biofilm formation, sporulation, or the release of enzymes or toxins.

Overall, quorum sensing allows prokaryotic cells to monitor and respond to changes in population density, enabling them to coordinate their behavior and adapt to their environment.

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