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Int J Med Microbiol. 2006 Apr;296(2-3):93-102. Epub 2006 Feb 28.

Impact of quorum sensing on fitness of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

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Institute of Infection, Immunity, and Inflammation, Centre for Biomolecular Sciences, Nottingham University, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK.


In Pseudomonas aeruginosa, cell-cell communication based on N-acyl-homoserine lactone (AHL) signal molecules (termed quorum sensing) is known to control the production of extracellular virulence factors. Hence, in pathogenic interactions with host organisms, the quorum-sensing (QS) machinery can confer a selective advantage on P. aeruginosa. However, as shown by transcriptomic and proteomic studies, many intracellular metabolic functions are also regulated by quorum sensing. Some of these serve to regenerate the AHL precursors methionine and S-adenosyl-methionine and to degrade adenosine via inosine and hypoxanthine. The fact that a significant percentage of clinical and environmental isolates of P. aeruginosa is defective for QS because of mutation in the major QS regulatory gene lasR, raises the question of whether the QS machinery can have a negative impact on the organism's fitness. In vitro, lasR mutants have a higher probability to escape lytic death in stationary phase under alkaline conditions than has the QS-proficient wild type. Similar selective forces might also operate in natural environments.

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