Tanya A. Koropatnick, Jacquelyn T. Engle, Michael A. Apicella, Eric V. Stabb, William E. Goldman, Margaret J. McFall-Ngai, Science Magazine
This Science Magazine scholarly article explores the function of bacterial signal molecule Tracheal cytotoxin (TCT) in the mutualistic symbiosis between the bacterium Vibrio fischeri and the squid Euprymna scolopes. TCT is the factor responsible for the extensive tissue damage characteristic of whooping cough and gonorrhea infections in humans, however this article demonstrates that it triggers tissue development in the squid host. These findings show that host interpretation of such bacterial signal molecules is context-dependent. Such differences in interpretation can lead to either inflammation and disease or to the establishment of a mutually beneficial animal-microbe association.