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The regulation of multiple bacterial phenotypes was found to depend on different cyclic dinucleotides (CDNs) that constitute intracellular signaling second messenger systems. Most notably, c-di-GMP, along with proteins related to its synthesis, sensing, and degradation, was identified as playing a central role in the switching from biofilm to planktonic modes of growth. Recently, this research topic has been under expansion, with the discoveries of new CDNs, novel classes of CDN receptors, and the numerous functions regulated by these molecules. In this review, we comprehensively describe the three main bacterial enzymes involved in the synthesis of c-di-GMP, c-di-AMP, and cGAMP focusing on description of their three-dimensional structures and their structural similarities with other protein families, as well as the essential residues for catalysis. The diversity of CDN receptors is described in detail along with the residues important for the interaction with the ligand. Interestingly, genomic data strongly suggest that there is a tendency for bacterial cells to use both c-di-AMP and c-di-GMP signaling networks simultaneously, raising the question of whether there is crosstalk between different signaling systems. In summary, the large amount of sequence and structural data available allows a broad view of the complexity and the importance of these CDNs in the regulation of different bacterial behaviors. Nevertheless, how cells coordinate the different CDN signaling networks to ensure adaptation to changing environmental conditions is still open for much further exploration.


Purificação Aline Dias da, Azevedo Nathalia Marins de, Araujo Gabriel Guarany de, Souza Robson Francisco de, Guzzo Cristiane Rodrigues. The World of Cyclic Dinucleotides in Bacterial Behavior. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland). 2020 May 25;25(10)

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PMID: 32466317

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