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Local and Universal Action: The Paradoxes of Indole Signalling in Bacteria.

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Liu, Junyan 
Gaimster, Hannah 
Summers, David K 


Indole is a signalling molecule produced by many bacterial species and involved in intraspecies, interspecies, and interkingdom signalling. Despite the increasing volume of research published in this area, many aspects of indole signalling remain enigmatic. There is disagreement over the mechanism of indole import and export and no clearly defined target through which its effects are exerted. Progress is hindered further by the confused and sometimes contradictory body of indole research literature. We explore the reasons behind this lack of consistency and speculate whether the discovery of a new, pulse mode of indole signalling, together with a move away from the idea of a conventional protein target, might help to overcome these problems and enable the field to move forward.



antibiotics, bacterial membrane, cytoplasmic pH, indole signalling, persisters, stress response, Biofilms, Biological Transport, Cell Membrane, Escherichia coli, Indoles, Quorum Sensing, Signal Transduction, Stress, Physiological

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Trends Microbiol

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Elsevier BV
Leverhulme Trust (RPG-2015-184)
Innovate UK (971621)
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/F002912/1)
Medical Research Council (1933099)
The Leverhulme Trust, UK (RPG-2015-184)