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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2001 Jul;67(7):3174-9.

Reaction of acylated homoserine lactone bacterial signaling molecules with oxidized halogen antimicrobials.

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Global Research, ONDEO Nalco, Naperville, Illinois 60563, USA.


Oxidized halogen antimicrobials, such as hypochlorous and hypobromous acids, have been used extensively for microbial control in industrial systems. Recent discoveries have shown that acylated homoserine lactone cell-to-cell signaling molecules are important for biofilm formation in Pseudomonas aeruginosa, suggesting that biofouling can be controlled by interfering with bacterial cell-to-cell communication. This study was conducted to investigate the potential for oxidized halogens to react with acylated homoserine lactone-based signaling molecules. Acylated homoserine lactones containing a 3-oxo group were found to rapidly react with oxidized halogens, while acylated homoserine lactones lacking the 3-oxo functionality did not react. The Chromobacterium violaceum CV026 bioassay was used to determine the effects of such reactions on acylated homoserine lactone activity. The results demonstrated that 3-oxo acyl homoserine lactone activity was rapidly lost upon exposure to oxidized halogens; however, acylated homoserine lactones lacking the 3-oxo group retained activity. Experiments with the marine alga Laminaria digitata demonstrated that natural haloperoxidase systems are capable of mediating the deactivation of acylated homoserine lactones. This may illustrate a natural defense mechanism to prevent biofouling on the surface of this marine alga. The Chromobacterium violaceum activity assay illustrates that reactions between 3-oxo acylated homoserine lactone molecules and oxidized halogens do occur despite the presence of biofilm components at much greater concentrations. This work suggests that oxidized halogens may control biofilm not only via a cidal mechanism, but also by possibly interfering with 3-oxo acylated homoserine lactone-based cell signaling.

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