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Chem Biol. 2009 Dec 24;16(12):1259-67. doi: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2009.11.013.

Dioxygenase-mediated quenching of quinolone-dependent quorum sensing in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

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School of Molecular Medical Sciences, Centre for Biomolecular Sciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK.


2-Heptyl-3-hydroxy-4(1H)-quinolone (PQS) is a quorum-sensing signal molecule used by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The structural similarity between 3-hydroxy-2-methyl-4(1H)-quinolone, the natural substrate for the 2,4-dioxygenase, Hod, and PQS prompted us to investigate whether Hod quenched PQS signaling. Hod is capable of catalyzing the conversion of PQS to N-octanoylanthranilic acid and carbon monoxide. In P. aeruginosa PAO1 cultures, exogenously supplied Hod protein reduced expression of the PQS biosynthetic gene pqsA, expression of the PQS-regulated virulence determinants lectin A, pyocyanin, and rhamnolipids, and virulence in planta. However, the proteolytic cleavage of Hod by extracellular proteases, competitive inhibition by the PQS precursor 2-heptyl-4(1H)-quinolone, and PQS binding to rhamnolipids reduced the efficiency of Hod as a quorum-quenching agent. Nevertheless, these data indicate that enzyme-mediated PQS inactivation has potential as an antivirulence strategy against P. aeruginosa.

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