Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Nov 8;20(22). pii: E5588. doi: 10.3390/ijms20225588.

Plant-Derived Inhibitors of AHL-Mediated Quorum Sensing in Bacteria: Modes of Action.

Author information

Federal Scientific Center of Biological Systems and Agrotechnologies of RAS, Orenburg 460000, Russia.


Numerous gram-negative phytopathogenic and zoopathogenic bacteria utilise acylated homoserine lactone (AHL) in communication systems, referred to as quorum sensing (QS), for induction of virulence factors and biofilm development. This phenomenon positions AHL-mediated QS as an attractive target for anti-infective therapy. This review focused on the most significant groups of plant-derived QS inhibitors and well-studied individual compounds for which in silico, in vitro and in vivo studies provide substantial knowledge about their modes of anti-QS activity. The current data about sulfur-containing compounds, monoterpenes and monoterpenoids, phenylpropanoids, benzoic acid derivatives, diarylheptanoids, coumarins, flavonoids and tannins were summarized; their plant sources, anti-QS effects and bioactivity mechanisms have also been summarized and discussed. Three variants of plant-derived molecules anti-QS strategies are proposed: (i) specific, via binding with LuxI-type AHL synthases and/or LuxR-type AHL receptor proteins, which have been shown for terpenes (carvacrol and l-carvone), phenylpropanoids (cinnamaldehyde and eugenol), flavonoid quercetin and ellagitannins; (ii) non-specific, by affecting the QS-related intracellular regulatory pathways by lowering regulatory small RNA expression (sulphur-containing compounds ajoene and iberin) or c-di-GMP metabolism reduction (coumarin); and (iii) indirect, via alteration of metabolic pathways involved in QS-dependent processes (vanillic acid and curcumin).


AHL-mediated QS; bacterial virulence; biofilm; natural compounds; phytochemicals; quorum sensing (QS); quorum sensing inhibitors

Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI) Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center