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Anal Chem. 2006 Nov 15;78(22):7603-9.

Biosensing systems for the detection of bacterial quorum signaling molecules.

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Department of Chemistry, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky 40506, USA.


Bacterial quorum sensing (QS) is a cell-to-cell communication phenomenon that allows bacteria to control the expression of certain specialized genes depending on their cell population size. Signaling molecules such N-acylhomoserine lactones (AHLs) mediate the communication, and their concentration reflects the bacterial population density. Quorum sensing regulates several processes including bacterial pathogenicity. We developed a method for the rapid, sensitive, and quantitative detection of AHLs in biological samples such as saliva and stools. The method is based on whole-cell sensing systems that employ QS regulatory systems as recognition elements and the luxCDABE gene cassette as a reporter. The method proved to be reproducible when applied to real samples and was able to detect low analyte concentrations down to 1 x 10(-9) M without requiring extensive sample preparation. We envision that this novel biosensing system could be employed in the diagnosis and management of various bacteria-related disorders, thus supporting the use of quorum sensing molecules as potential biomarkers of disease. Due to cost-effectiveness and high throughput, these biosensing systems could be successfully employed as a new tool for the screening of novel drugs that target quorum sensing mechanisms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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