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Special Issue "Quorum Sensing Research in Microbial Systems"

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A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2013)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Jun Zhu

Department of Microbiology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, 211A Johnson Pavilion, 3610 Hamilton Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6076, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: bacterial pathogenesis; host-microbe interaction; signal transduction; quorum sensing; gene regulation; biofilms

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Single-celled bacteria are able to produce and respond to small diffusible molecules called autoinducers. These molecules accumulate as cell density increases and regulate the expression of a range of genes to control a variety of physiological functions, in a process known as quorum sensing (QS). Many species of bacteria exchange chemical signals to help them monitor their population densities. Not long ago, it was thought that QS was a rare phenomenon limited to a few bacterial species. Recently, however, many new examples of interbacterial signaling have been reported. Among them, acyl-homoserine lactone (AHL) QS signaling systems are arguably the best-understood chemical language used by Gram-negative bacteria. QS systems fundamentally blur the distinction between unicellular and multicellular forms of life. Many QS systems are also extremely important to human health, since they regulate virulence determinants in bacterial pathogens.

Prof. Dr. Jun Zhu
Guest Editor

Submission

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Keywords

  • quorum sensing
  • bacterial communication
  • autoinducers
  • multicellularity
  • quorum quenching
  • intercellular signaling
  • signal transduction
  • small RNAs

Published Papers (21 papers)

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Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle Isolation of the Autoinducer-Quenching Strain that Inhibits LasR in Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(4), 6328-6342; doi:10.3390/ijms15046328
Received: 4 July 2013 / Revised: 21 March 2014 / Accepted: 28 March 2014 / Published: 14 April 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (882 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Quorum sensing (QS) has been recognized as a general phenomenon in microorganisms and plays an important role in many pathogenic bacteria. In this report, we used the Agrobacterium tumefaciens biosensor strain NT1 to rapidly screen for autoinducer-quenching inhibitors from bacteria. After initial screening
[...] Read more.
Quorum sensing (QS) has been recognized as a general phenomenon in microorganisms and plays an important role in many pathogenic bacteria. In this report, we used the Agrobacterium tumefaciens biosensor strain NT1 to rapidly screen for autoinducer-quenching inhibitors from bacteria. After initial screening 5389 isolates obtained from land and beach soil, 53 putative positive strains were identified. A confirmatory bioassay was carried out after concentrating the putative positive culture supernatant, and 22 strains were confirmed to have anti-LasR activity. Finally, we determined the strain JM2, which could completely inhibit biofilm formation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1, belonged to the genus Pseudomonas by analysis of 16S rDNA. Partially purified inhibitor factor(s) F5 derived from culture supernatants specifically inhibited LasR-controlled elastase and protease in wild type P. aeruginosa PAO1 by 68% and 73%, respectively, without significantly affecting growth; the rhl-controlled pyocyanin and rhamnolipids were inhibited by 54% and 52% in the presence of 100 µg/mL of F5. The swarming motility and biofilm of PAO1 were also inhibited by F5. Real time RT-PCR on samples from 100 µg/mL F5-treated P. aeruginosa showed downregulation of autoinducer synthase (LasRI and rhlI) and cognate receptor (lasR and rhlR) genes by 50%, 28%, 48%, and 29%, respectively. These results provide compelling evidence that the F5 inhibitor(s) interferes with the las system and significantly inhibits biofilm formation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quorum Sensing Research in Microbial Systems)
Open AccessArticle Structural Insights into a Novel Interkingdom Signaling Circuit by Cartography of the Ligand-Binding Sites of the Homologous Quorum Sensing LuxR-Family
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(10), 20578-20596; doi:10.3390/ijms141020578
Received: 1 August 2013 / Revised: 13 September 2013 / Accepted: 1 October 2013 / Published: 15 October 2013
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (2311 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recent studies have identified a novel interkingdom signaling circuit, via plant signaling molecules, and a bacterial sub-family of LuxR proteins, bridging eukaryotes and prokaryotes. Indeed pivotal plant-bacteria interactions are regulated by the so called Plant Associated Bacteria (PAB) LuxR solo regulators that, although
[...] Read more.
Recent studies have identified a novel interkingdom signaling circuit, via plant signaling molecules, and a bacterial sub-family of LuxR proteins, bridging eukaryotes and prokaryotes. Indeed pivotal plant-bacteria interactions are regulated by the so called Plant Associated Bacteria (PAB) LuxR solo regulators that, although closely related to the quorum sensing (QS) LuxR family, do not bind or respond to canonical quorum sensing N-acyl homoserine lactones (AHLs), but only to specific host plant signal molecules. The large body of structural data available for several members of the QS LuxR family complexed with different classes of ligands (AHLs and other compounds), has been exploited to dissect the cartography of their regulatory domains through structure-based multiple sequence alignments, structural superimposition and a comparative analysis of the contact residues involved in ligand binding. In the absence of experimentally determined structures of members of the PAB LuxR solos subfamily, an homology model of its prototype OryR is presented, aiming to elucidate the architecture of its ligand-binding site. The obtained model, in combination with the cartography of the regulatory domains of the homologous QS LuxRs, provides novel insights into the 3D structure of its ligand-binding site and unveils the probable molecular determinants responsible for differences in selectivity towards specific host plant signal molecules, rather than to canonical QS compounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quorum Sensing Research in Microbial Systems)
Open AccessArticle N,N’-alkylated Imidazolium-Derivatives Act as Quorum-Sensing Inhibitors Targeting the Pectobacterium atrosepticum-Induced Symptoms on Potato Tubers
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(10), 19976-19986; doi:10.3390/ijms141019976
Received: 31 May 2013 / Revised: 16 September 2013 / Accepted: 17 September 2013 / Published: 8 October 2013
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (336 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Bacteria belonging to the Pectobacterium genus are the causative agents of the blackleg and soft-rot diseases that affect potato plants and tubers worldwide. In Pectobacterium, the expression of the virulence genes is controlled by quorum-sensing (QS) and N-acylhomoserine lactones (AHLs). In
[...] Read more.
Bacteria belonging to the Pectobacterium genus are the causative agents of the blackleg and soft-rot diseases that affect potato plants and tubers worldwide. In Pectobacterium, the expression of the virulence genes is controlled by quorum-sensing (QS) and N-acylhomoserine lactones (AHLs). In this work, we screened a chemical library of QS-inhibitors (QSIs) and AHL-analogs to find novel QSIs targeting the virulence of Pectobacterium. Four N,N’-bisalkylated imidazolium salts were identified as QSIs; they were active at the µM range. In potato tuber assays, two of them were able to decrease the severity of the symptoms provoked by P. atrosepticum. This work extends the range of the QSIs acting on the Pectobacterium-induced soft-rot disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quorum Sensing Research in Microbial Systems)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP)-Based Overexpression Screening and Characterization of AgrC, a Receptor Protein of Quorum Sensing in Staphylococcus aureus
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(9), 18470-18487; doi:10.3390/ijms140918470
Received: 2 July 2013 / Revised: 23 August 2013 / Accepted: 26 August 2013 / Published: 6 September 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1227 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Staphylococcus aureus AgrC is an important component of the agr quorum-sensing system. AgrC is a membrane-embedded histidine kinase that is thought to act as a sensor for the recognition of environmental signals and the transduction of signals into the cytoplasm. However, the difficulty
[...] Read more.
Staphylococcus aureus AgrC is an important component of the agr quorum-sensing system. AgrC is a membrane-embedded histidine kinase that is thought to act as a sensor for the recognition of environmental signals and the transduction of signals into the cytoplasm. However, the difficulty of expressing and purifying functional membrane proteins has drastically hindered in-depth understanding of the molecular structures and physiological functions of these proteins. Here, we describe the high-yield expression and purification of AgrC, and analyze its kinase activity. A C-terminal green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusion to AgrC served as a reporter for monitoring protein expression levels in real time. Protein expression levels were analyzed by the microscopic assessment of the whole-cell fluorescence. The expressed AgrC-GFP protein with a C-terminal His-tagged was purified using immobilized metal affinity chromatography (IMAC) and size exclusion chromatography (SEC) at yields of ≥10 mg/L, following optimization. We also assessed the effects of different detergents on membrane solubilization and AgrC kinase activity, and polyoxyethylene-(23)-lauryl-ether (Brij-35) was identified as the most suitable detergent. Furthermore, the secondary structural stability of purified AgrC was analyzed using circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy. This study may serve as a general guide for improving the yields of other membrane protein preparations and selecting the appropriate detergent to stabilize membrane proteins for biophysical and biochemical analyses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quorum Sensing Research in Microbial Systems)
Open AccessArticle Homoserine Lactones Influence the Reaction of Plants to Rhizobia
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(8), 17122-17146; doi:10.3390/ijms140817122
Received: 2 July 2013 / Revised: 8 August 2013 / Accepted: 12 August 2013 / Published: 20 August 2013
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (1200 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Bacterial quorum sensing molecules not only grant the communication within bacterial communities, but also influence eukaryotic hosts. N-acyl-homoserine lactones (AHLs) produced by pathogenic or beneficial bacteria were shown to induce diverse reactions in animals and plants. In plants, the reaction to AHLs
[...] Read more.
Bacterial quorum sensing molecules not only grant the communication within bacterial communities, but also influence eukaryotic hosts. N-acyl-homoserine lactones (AHLs) produced by pathogenic or beneficial bacteria were shown to induce diverse reactions in animals and plants. In plants, the reaction to AHLs depends on the length of the lipid side chain. Here we investigated the impact of two bacteria on Arabidopsis thaliana, which usually enter a close symbiosis with plants from the Fabaceae (legumes) family and produce a long-chain AHL (Sinorhizobium meliloti) or a short-chain AHL (Rhizobium etli). We demonstrate that, similarly to the reaction to pure AHL molecules, the impact, which the inoculation with rhizosphere bacteria has on plants, depends on the type of the produced AHL. The inoculation with oxo-C14-HSL-producing S. meliloti strains enhanced plant resistance towards pathogenic bacteria, whereas the inoculation with an AttM lactonase-expressing S. meliloti strain did not. Inoculation with the oxo-C8-HSL-producing R. etli had no impact on the resistance, which is in agreement with our previous hypothesis. In addition, plants seem to influence the availability of AHLs in the rhizosphere. Taken together, this report provides new insights in the role of N-acyl-homoserine lactones in the inter-kingdom communication at the root surface. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quorum Sensing Research in Microbial Systems)
Open AccessArticle Bioinformatic Prediction of Gene Functions Regulated by Quorum Sensing in the Bioleaching Bacterium Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(8), 16901-16916; doi:10.3390/ijms140816901
Received: 27 May 2013 / Revised: 18 July 2013 / Accepted: 22 July 2013 / Published: 16 August 2013
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1174 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The biomining bacterium Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans oxidizes sulfide ores and promotes metal solubilization. The efficiency of this process depends on the attachment of cells to surfaces, a process regulated by quorum sensing (QS) cell-to-cell signalling in many Gram-negative bacteria. At. ferrooxidans has a functional
[...] Read more.
The biomining bacterium Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans oxidizes sulfide ores and promotes metal solubilization. The efficiency of this process depends on the attachment of cells to surfaces, a process regulated by quorum sensing (QS) cell-to-cell signalling in many Gram-negative bacteria. At. ferrooxidans has a functional QS system and the presence of AHLs enhances its attachment to pyrite. However, direct targets of the QS transcription factor AfeR remain unknown. In this study, a bioinformatic approach was used to infer possible AfeR direct targets based on the particular palindromic features of the AfeR binding site. A set of Hidden Markov Models designed to maintain palindromic regions and vary non-palindromic regions was used to screen for putative binding sites. By annotating the context of each predicted binding site (PBS), we classified them according to their positional coherence relative to other putative genomic structures such as start codons, RNA polymerase promoter elements and intergenic regions. We further used the Multiple EM for Motif Elicitation algorithm (MEME) to further filter out low homology PBSs. In summary, 75 target-genes were identified, 34 of which have a higher confidence level. Among the identified genes, we found afeR itself, zwf, genes encoding glycosyltransferase activities, metallo-beta lactamases, and active transport-related proteins. Glycosyltransferases and Zwf (Glucose 6-phosphate-1-dehydrogenase) might be directly involved in polysaccharide biosynthesis and attachment to minerals by At. ferrooxidans cells during the bioleaching process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quorum Sensing Research in Microbial Systems)
Open AccessArticle A Nitric Oxide-Responsive Quorum Sensing Circuit in Vibrio harveyi Regulates Flagella Production and Biofilm Formation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(8), 16473-16484; doi:10.3390/ijms140816473
Received: 4 June 2013 / Accepted: 26 July 2013 / Published: 8 August 2013
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (1451 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Cell signaling plays an important role in the survival of bacterial colonies. They use small molecules to coordinate gene expression in a cell density dependent manner. This process, known as quorum sensing, helps bacteria regulate diverse functions such as bioluminescence, biofilm formation and
[...] Read more.
Cell signaling plays an important role in the survival of bacterial colonies. They use small molecules to coordinate gene expression in a cell density dependent manner. This process, known as quorum sensing, helps bacteria regulate diverse functions such as bioluminescence, biofilm formation and virulence. In Vibrio harveyi, a bioluminescent marine bacterium, four parallel quorum-sensing systems have been identified to regulate light production. We have previously reported that nitric oxide (NO), through the H-NOX/HqsK quorum sensing pathway contributes to light production in V. harveyi through the LuxU/LuxO/LuxR quorum sensing pathway. In this study, we show that nitric oxide (NO) also regulates flagellar production and enhances biofilm formation. Our data suggest that V. harveyi is capable of switching between lifestyles to be able to adapt to changes in the environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quorum Sensing Research in Microbial Systems)
Open AccessArticle The Efficacy of the Quorum Sensing Inhibitor FS8 and Tigecycline in Preventing Prosthesis Biofilm in an Animal Model of Staphylococcal Infection
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(8), 16321-16332; doi:10.3390/ijms140816321
Received: 8 April 2013 / Revised: 1 June 2013 / Accepted: 26 July 2013 / Published: 7 August 2013
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (305 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We investigated the efficacy of tigecycline and FS8, alone or combined, in preventing prosthesis biofilm in a rat model of staphylococcal vascular graft infection. Graft infections were established in the back subcutaneous tissue of adult male Wistar rats by implantation of Dacron prostheses
[...] Read more.
We investigated the efficacy of tigecycline and FS8, alone or combined, in preventing prosthesis biofilm in a rat model of staphylococcal vascular graft infection. Graft infections were established in the back subcutaneous tissue of adult male Wistar rats by implantation of Dacron prostheses followed by topical inoculation with 2 x 107 colony-forming units of Staphylococcus aureus, strain Smith diffuse. The study included a control group, a contaminated group that did not receive any antibiotic prophylaxis, and three contaminated groups that received: (i) intraperitoneal tigecycline, (ii) FS8-soaked graft, and (iii) tigecycline plus FS8-soaked graft, respectively. Each group included 15 animals. The infection burden was evaluated by using sonication and quantitative agar culture. Moreover, an in vitro binding-study was performed to quantify the how much FS8 was coated to the surface of the prosthesis. Tigecycline, combined with FS8, against the adherent bacteria showed MICs (2.00 mg/L) and MBCs (4.00 mg/L) four-fold lower with respect to tigecycline alone in in vitro studies. The rat groups treated with tigecycline showed the lowest bacterial numbers (4.4 x 104 ± 1.2 x 104 CFU/mL). The FS8-treated group showed a good activity and significant differences compared to control group with bacterial numbers of 6.8 x 104 ± 2.0 x 104 CFU/mL. A stronger inhibition of bacterial growth was observed in rats treated with a combined FS8 and tigecycline therapy than in those that were singly treated with bacterial numbers of 101 CFU/mL graft. In conclusion, the ability to affect biofilm formation as well, its property to be an antibiotic enhancer suggests FS8 as alternative or additional agent to use in conjunction with conventional antimicrobial for prevention of staphylococcal biofilm related infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quorum Sensing Research in Microbial Systems)
Open AccessArticle Quorum Quenching in Culturable Phyllosphere Bacteria from Tobacco
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(7), 14607-14619; doi:10.3390/ijms140714607
Received: 30 May 2013 / Revised: 25 June 2013 / Accepted: 26 June 2013 / Published: 12 July 2013
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (864 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Many Gram-negative plant pathogenic bacteria employ a N-acylhomoserine lactone (AHL)-based quorum sensing (QS) system to regulate their virulence traits. A sustainable biocontrol strategy has been developed using quorum quenching (QQ) bacteria to interfere with QS and protect plants from pathogens. Here, the
[...] Read more.
Many Gram-negative plant pathogenic bacteria employ a N-acylhomoserine lactone (AHL)-based quorum sensing (QS) system to regulate their virulence traits. A sustainable biocontrol strategy has been developed using quorum quenching (QQ) bacteria to interfere with QS and protect plants from pathogens. Here, the prevalence and the diversity of QQ strains inhabiting tobacco leaf surfaces were explored. A total of 1177 leaf-associated isolates were screened for their ability to disrupt AHL-mediated QS, using the biosensor Chromobacterium violaceum CV026. One hundred and sixty-eight strains (14%) are capable of interfering with AHL activity. Among these, 106 strains (63%) of the culturable quenchers can enzymatically degrade AHL molecules, while the remaining strains might use other QS inhibitors to interrupt the chemical communication. Moreover, almost 79% of the QQ strains capable of inactivating AHLs enzymatically have lactonase activity. Further phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rDNA revealed that the leaf-associated QQ bacteria can be classified as Bacillus sp., Acinetobacter sp., Lysinibacillus sp., Serratia sp., Pseudomonas sp., and Myroides sp. The naturally occurring diversity of bacterial quenchers might provide opportunities to use them as effective biocontrol reagents for suppressing plant pathogen in situ. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quorum Sensing Research in Microbial Systems)
Open AccessArticle The Organization of the Quorum Sensing luxI/R Family Genes in Burkholderia
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(7), 13727-13747; doi:10.3390/ijms140713727
Received: 30 May 2013 / Revised: 20 June 2013 / Accepted: 24 June 2013 / Published: 2 July 2013
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (574 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Members of the Burkholderia genus of Proteobacteria are capable of living freely in the environment and can also colonize human, animal and plant hosts. Certain members are considered to be clinically important from both medical and veterinary perspectives and furthermore may be important
[...] Read more.
Members of the Burkholderia genus of Proteobacteria are capable of living freely in the environment and can also colonize human, animal and plant hosts. Certain members are considered to be clinically important from both medical and veterinary perspectives and furthermore may be important modulators of the rhizosphere. Quorum sensing via N-acyl homoserine lactone signals (AHL QS) is present in almost all Burkholderia species and is thought to play important roles in lifestyle changes such as colonization and niche invasion. Here we present a census of AHL QS genes retrieved from public databases and indicate that the local arrangement (topology) of QS genes, their location within chromosomes and their gene neighborhoods show characteristic patterns that differ between the known Burkholderia clades. In sequence phylogenies, AHL QS genes seem to cluster according to the local gene topology rather than according to the species, which suggests that the basic topology types were present prior to the appearance of current Burkholderia species. The data are available at http://net.icgeb.org/burkholderia/. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quorum Sensing Research in Microbial Systems)
Open AccessArticle Kinetic Model for Signal Binding to the Quorum Sensing Regulator LasR
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(7), 13360-13376; doi:10.3390/ijms140713360
Received: 3 June 2013 / Revised: 19 June 2013 / Accepted: 20 June 2013 / Published: 27 June 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (442 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We propose a kinetic model for the activation of the las regulon in the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The model is based on in vitro data and accounts for the LasR dimerization and consecutive activation by binding of two OdDHL signal molecules. Experimentally,
[...] Read more.
We propose a kinetic model for the activation of the las regulon in the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The model is based on in vitro data and accounts for the LasR dimerization and consecutive activation by binding of two OdDHL signal molecules. Experimentally, the production of the active LasR quorum-sensing regulator was studied in an Escherichia coli background as a function of signal molecule concentration. The functional activity of the regulator was monitored via a GFP reporter fusion to lasB expressed from the native lasB promoter. The new data shows that the active form of the LasR dimer binds two signal molecules cooperatively and that the timescale for reaching saturation is independent of the signal molecule concentration. This favors a picture where the dimerized regulator is protected against proteases and remains protected as it is activated through binding of two successive signal molecules. In absence of signal molecules, the dimerized regulator can dissociate and degrade through proteolytic turnover of the monomer. This resolves the apparent contradiction between our data and recent reports that the fully protected dimer is able to “degrade” when the induction of LasR ceases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quorum Sensing Research in Microbial Systems)
Open AccessArticle Effect of GABA, a Bacterial Metabolite, on Pseudomonas fluorescens Surface Properties and Cytotoxicity
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(6), 12186-12204; doi:10.3390/ijms140612186
Received: 6 May 2013 / Revised: 23 May 2013 / Accepted: 27 May 2013 / Published: 6 June 2013
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (1247 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Different bacterial species and, particularly Pseudomonas fluorescens, can produce gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and express GABA-binding proteins. In this study, we investigated the effect of GABA on the virulence and biofilm formation activity of different strains of P. fluorescens. Exposure of a
[...] Read more.
Different bacterial species and, particularly Pseudomonas fluorescens, can produce gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and express GABA-binding proteins. In this study, we investigated the effect of GABA on the virulence and biofilm formation activity of different strains of P. fluorescens. Exposure of a psychotropic strain of P. fluorescens (MF37) to GABA (10−5 M) increased its necrotic-like activity on eukaryotic (glial) cells, but reduced its apoptotic effect. Conversely, muscimol and bicuculline, the selective agonist and antagonist of eukaryote GABAA receptors, respectively, were ineffective. P. fluorescens MF37 did not produce biosurfactants, and its caseinase, esterase, amylase, hemolytic activity or pyoverdine productions were unchanged. In contrast, the effect of GABA was associated to rearrangements of the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) structure, particularly in the lipid A region. The surface hydrophobicity of MF37 was marginally modified, and GABA reduced its biofilm formation activity on PVC, but not on glass, although the initial adhesion was increased. Five other P. fluorescens strains were studied, and only one, MFP05, a strain isolated from human skin, showed structural differences of biofilm maturation after exposure to GABA. These results reveal that GABA can regulate the LPS structure and cytotoxicity of P. fluorescens, but that this property is specific to some strains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quorum Sensing Research in Microbial Systems)
Open AccessArticle Intra-Species Bacterial Quorum Sensing Studied at Single Cell Level in a Double Droplet Trapping System
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(5), 10570-10581; doi:10.3390/ijms140510570
Received: 19 April 2013 / Revised: 9 May 2013 / Accepted: 10 May 2013 / Published: 21 May 2013
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (1464 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, we investigated the intra-species bacterial quorum sensing at the single cell level using a double droplet trapping system. Escherichia coli transformed to express the quorum sensing receptor protein, LasR, were encapsulated in microdroplets that were positioned adjacent to microdroplets containing
[...] Read more.
In this paper, we investigated the intra-species bacterial quorum sensing at the single cell level using a double droplet trapping system. Escherichia coli transformed to express the quorum sensing receptor protein, LasR, were encapsulated in microdroplets that were positioned adjacent to microdroplets containing the autoinducer, N-(3-oxododecanoyl)-L-homoserine lactone (OdDHL). Functional activation of the LasR protein by diffusion of the OdDHL across the droplet interface was measured by monitoring the expression of green fluorescent protein (GFP) from a LasR-dependent promoter. A threshold concentration of OdDHL was found to induce production of quorum-sensing associated GFP by E. coli. Additionally, we demonstrated that LasR-dependent activation of GFP expression was also initiated when the adjacent droplets contained single E. coli transformed with the OdDHL synthase gene, LasI, representing a simple quorum sensing circuit between two droplets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quorum Sensing Research in Microbial Systems)
Figures

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Acyl-Homoserine Lactone Quorum Sensing in the Roseobacter Clade
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(1), 654-669; doi:10.3390/ijms15010654
Received: 28 October 2013 / Revised: 15 December 2013 / Accepted: 18 December 2013 / Published: 7 January 2014
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (429 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Members of the Roseobacter clade are ecologically important and numerically abundant in coastal environments and can associate with marine invertebrates and nutrient-rich marine snow or organic particles, on which quorum sensing (QS) may play an important role. In this review, we summarize current
[...] Read more.
Members of the Roseobacter clade are ecologically important and numerically abundant in coastal environments and can associate with marine invertebrates and nutrient-rich marine snow or organic particles, on which quorum sensing (QS) may play an important role. In this review, we summarize current research progress on roseobacterial acyl-homoserine lactone-based QS, particularly focusing on three relatively well-studied representatives, Phaeobacter inhibens DSM17395, the marine sponge symbiont Ruegeria sp. KLH11 and the dinoflagellate symbiont Dinoroseobacter shibae. Bioinformatic survey of luxI homologues revealed that over 80% of available roseobacterial genomes encode at least one luxI homologue, reflecting the significance of QS controlled regulatory pathways in adapting to the relevant marine environments. We also discuss several areas that warrant further investigation, including studies on the ecological role of these diverse QS pathways in natural environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quorum Sensing Research in Microbial Systems)
Open AccessReview Choosing an Appropriate Infection Model to Study Quorum Sensing Inhibition in Pseudomonas Infections
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(9), 19309-19340; doi:10.3390/ijms140919309
Received: 5 July 2013 / Revised: 13 September 2013 / Accepted: 17 September 2013 / Published: 23 September 2013
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (374 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Bacteria, although considered for decades to be antisocial organisms whose sole purpose is to find nutrients and multiply are, in fact, highly communicative organisms. Referred to as quorum sensing, cell-to-cell communication mechanisms have been adopted by bacteria in order to co-ordinate their gene
[...] Read more.
Bacteria, although considered for decades to be antisocial organisms whose sole purpose is to find nutrients and multiply are, in fact, highly communicative organisms. Referred to as quorum sensing, cell-to-cell communication mechanisms have been adopted by bacteria in order to co-ordinate their gene expression. By behaving as a community rather than as individuals, bacteria can simultaneously switch on their virulence factor production and establish successful infections in eukaryotes. Understanding pathogen-host interactions requires the use of infection models. As the use of rodents is limited, for ethical considerations and the high costs associated with their use, alternative models based on invertebrates have been developed. Invertebrate models have the benefits of low handling costs, limited space requirements and rapid generation of results. This review presents examples of such models available for studying the pathogenicity of the Gram-negative bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Quorum sensing interference, known as quorum quenching, suggests a promising disease-control strategy since quorum-quenching mechanisms appear to play important roles in microbe-microbe and host-pathogen interactions. Examples of natural and synthetic quorum sensing inhibitors and their potential as antimicrobials in Pseudomonas-related infections are discussed in the second part of this review. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quorum Sensing Research in Microbial Systems)
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Open AccessReview Small Molecule Inhibitors of AI-2 Signaling in Bacteria: State-of-the-Art and Future Perspectives for Anti-Quorum Sensing Agents
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(9), 17694-17728; doi:10.3390/ijms140917694
Received: 3 June 2013 / Revised: 9 August 2013 / Accepted: 9 August 2013 / Published: 29 August 2013
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (2318 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Bacteria respond to different small molecules that are produced by other neighboring bacteria. These molecules, called autoinducers, are classified as intraspecies (i.e., molecules produced and perceived by the same bacterial species) or interspecies (molecules that are produced and sensed between different
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Bacteria respond to different small molecules that are produced by other neighboring bacteria. These molecules, called autoinducers, are classified as intraspecies (i.e., molecules produced and perceived by the same bacterial species) or interspecies (molecules that are produced and sensed between different bacterial species). AI-2 has been proposed as an interspecies autoinducer and has been shown to regulate different bacterial physiology as well as affect virulence factor production and biofilm formation in some bacteria, including bacteria of clinical relevance. Several groups have embarked on the development of small molecules that could be used to perturb AI-2 signaling in bacteria, with the ultimate goal that these molecules could be used to inhibit bacterial virulence and biofilm formation. Additionally, these molecules have the potential to be used in synthetic biology applications whereby these small molecules are used as inputs to switch on and off AI-2 receptors. In this review, we highlight the state-of-the-art in the development of small molecules that perturb AI-2 signaling in bacteria and offer our perspective on the future development and applications of these classes of molecules. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quorum Sensing Research in Microbial Systems)
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Open AccessReview Quorum Quenching Enzymes and Their Application in Degrading Signal Molecules to Block Quorum Sensing-Dependent Infection
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(9), 17477-17500; doi:10.3390/ijms140917477
Received: 31 May 2013 / Revised: 23 July 2013 / Accepted: 16 August 2013 / Published: 26 August 2013
Cited by 30 | PDF Full-text (1435 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With the emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, the available options for treating bacterial infections have become very limited, and the search for a novel general antibacterial therapy has received much greater attention. Quorum quenching can be used to control disease in a
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With the emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, the available options for treating bacterial infections have become very limited, and the search for a novel general antibacterial therapy has received much greater attention. Quorum quenching can be used to control disease in a quorum sensing system by triggering the pathogenic phenotype. The interference with the quorum sensing system by the quorum quenching enzyme is a potential strategy for replacing traditional antibiotics because the quorum quenching strategy does not aim to kill the pathogen or limit cell growth but to shut down the expression of the pathogenic gene. Quorum quenching enzymes have been identified in quorum sensing and non-quorum sensing microbes, including lactonase, acylase, oxidoreductase and paraoxonase. Lactonase is widely conserved in a range of bacterial species and has variable substrate spectra. The existence of quorum quenching enzymes in the quorum sensing microbes can attenuate their quorum sensing, leading to blocking unnecessary gene expression and pathogenic phenotypes. In this review, we discuss the physiological function of quorum quenching enzymes in bacterial infection and elucidate the enzymatic protection in quorum sensing systems for host diseases and their application in resistance against microbial diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quorum Sensing Research in Microbial Systems)
Open AccessReview Development of Quorum-Based Anti-Virulence Therapeutics Targeting Gram-Negative Bacterial Pathogens
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(8), 16570-16599; doi:10.3390/ijms140816570
Received: 10 July 2013 / Revised: 25 July 2013 / Accepted: 1 August 2013 / Published: 9 August 2013
Cited by 21 | PDF Full-text (820 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Quorum sensing is a cell density-dependent signaling phenomenon used by bacteria for coordination of population-wide phenotypes, such as expression of virulence genes, antibiotic resistance and biofilm formation. Lately, disruption of bacterial communication has emerged as an anti-virulence strategy with enormous therapeutic potential given
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Quorum sensing is a cell density-dependent signaling phenomenon used by bacteria for coordination of population-wide phenotypes, such as expression of virulence genes, antibiotic resistance and biofilm formation. Lately, disruption of bacterial communication has emerged as an anti-virulence strategy with enormous therapeutic potential given the increasing incidences of drug resistance in pathogenic bacteria. The quorum quenching therapeutic approach promises a lower risk of resistance development, since interference with virulence generally does not affect the growth and fitness of the bacteria and, hence, does not exert an associated selection pressure for drug-resistant strains. With better understanding of bacterial communication networks and mechanisms, many quorum quenching methods have been developed against various clinically significant bacterial pathogens. In particular, Gram-negative bacteria are an important group of pathogens, because, collectively, they are responsible for the majority of hospital-acquired infections. Here, we discuss the current understanding of existing quorum sensing mechanisms and present important inhibitory strategies that have been developed against this group of pathogenic bacteria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quorum Sensing Research in Microbial Systems)
Open AccessReview Quorum Sensing in the Squid-Vibrio Symbiosis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(8), 16386-16401; doi:10.3390/ijms140816386
Received: 25 June 2013 / Revised: 24 July 2013 / Accepted: 26 July 2013 / Published: 7 August 2013
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (416 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Quorum sensing is an intercellular form of communication that bacteria use to coordinate group behaviors such as biofilm formation and the production of antibiotics and virulence factors. The term quorum sensing was originally coined to describe the mechanism underlying the onset of luminescence
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Quorum sensing is an intercellular form of communication that bacteria use to coordinate group behaviors such as biofilm formation and the production of antibiotics and virulence factors. The term quorum sensing was originally coined to describe the mechanism underlying the onset of luminescence production in cultures of the marine bacterium Vibrio fischeri. Luminescence and, more generally, quorum sensing are important for V. fischeri to form a mutualistic symbiosis with the Hawaiian bobtail squid, Euprymna scolopes. The symbiosis is established when V. fischeri cells migrate via flagella-based motility from the surrounding seawater into a specialized structure injuvenile squid called the light organ. The cells grow to high cell densities within the light organ where the infection persists over the lifetime of the animal. A hallmark of a successful symbiosis is the luminescence produced by V. fischeri that camouflages the squid at night by eliminating its shadow within the water column. While the regulatory networks governing quorum sensing are critical for properly regulating V. fischeri luminescence within the squid light organ, they also regulate luminescence-independent processes during symbiosis. In this review, we discuss the quorum-sensing network of V. fischeri and highlight its impact at various stages during host colonization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quorum Sensing Research in Microbial Systems)
Open AccessReview Quorum Sensing and Phytochemicals
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(6), 12607-12619; doi:10.3390/ijms140612607
Received: 17 May 2013 / Revised: 31 May 2013 / Accepted: 4 June 2013 / Published: 17 June 2013
Cited by 33 | PDF Full-text (429 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Most infectious diseases are caused by bacteria, which proliferate within quorum sensing (QS)-mediated biofilms. Efforts to block QS in bacteria and disrupt biofilms have enabled the identification of bioactive molecules that are also produced by plants. This mini review primarily focuses on natural
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Most infectious diseases are caused by bacteria, which proliferate within quorum sensing (QS)-mediated biofilms. Efforts to block QS in bacteria and disrupt biofilms have enabled the identification of bioactive molecules that are also produced by plants. This mini review primarily focuses on natural QS inhibitors, which display potential for treating bacterial infections and also enhance the safety of food supply. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quorum Sensing Research in Microbial Systems)
Open AccessReview Bioactive Molecules in Soil Ecosystems: Masters of the Underground
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(5), 8841-8868; doi:10.3390/ijms14058841
Received: 28 February 2013 / Revised: 10 April 2013 / Accepted: 12 April 2013 / Published: 24 April 2013
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (377 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Complex biological and ecological processes occur in the rhizosphere through ecosystem-level interactions between roots, microorganisms and soil fauna. Over the past decade, studies of the rhizosphere have revealed that when roots, microorganisms and soil fauna physically contact one another, bioactive molecular exchanges often
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Complex biological and ecological processes occur in the rhizosphere through ecosystem-level interactions between roots, microorganisms and soil fauna. Over the past decade, studies of the rhizosphere have revealed that when roots, microorganisms and soil fauna physically contact one another, bioactive molecular exchanges often mediate these interactions as intercellular signal, which prepare the partners for successful interactions. Despite the importance of bioactive molecules in sustainable agriculture, little is known of their numerous functions, and improving plant health and productivity by altering ecological processes remains difficult. In this review, we describe the major bioactive molecules present in below-ground ecosystems (i.e., flavonoids, exopolysaccharides, antibiotics and quorum-sensing signals), and we discuss how these molecules affect microbial communities, nutrient availability and plant defense responses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quorum Sensing Research in Microbial Systems)

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