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      The LuxS family of bacterial autoinducers: biosynthesis of a novel quorum-sensing signal molecule.

      Molecular Microbiology

      4-Butyrolactone, analogs & derivatives, biosynthesis, chemistry, Bacterial Proteins, genetics, metabolism, Carbon-Sulfur Lyases, Cell Extracts, Cell-Free System, Dialysis, Genomics, Homocysteine, Homoserine, physiology, Lactones, Luminescent Measurements, Mass Spectrometry, Multigene Family, S-Adenosylmethionine, Salmonella typhimurium, cytology, Signal Transduction, Vibrio

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          Abstract

          Many bacteria control gene expression in response to cell population density, and this phenomenon is called quorum sensing. In Gram-negative bacteria, quorum sensing typically involves the production, release and detection of acylated homoserine lactone signalling molecules called autoinducers. Vibrio harveyi, a Gram-negative bioluminescent marine bacterium, regulates light production in response to two distinct autoinducers (AI-1 and AI-2). AI-1 is a homoserine lactone. The structure of AI-2 is not known. We have suggested previously that V. harveyi uses AI-1 for intraspecies communication and AI-2 for interspecies communication. Consistent with this idea, we have shown that many species of Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria produce AI-2 and, in every case, production of AI-2 is dependent on the function encoded by the luxS gene. We show here that LuxS is the AI-2 synthase and that AI-2 is produced from S-adenosylmethionine in three enzymatic steps. The substrate for LuxS is S-ribosylhomocysteine, which is cleaved to form two products, one of which is homocysteine, and the other is AI-2. In this report, we also provide evidence that the biosynthetic pathway and biochemical intermediates in AI-2 biosynthesis are identical in Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhimurium, V. harveyi, Vibrio cholerae and Enterococcus faecalis. This result suggests that, unlike quorum sensing via the family of related homoserine lactone autoinducers, AI-2 is a unique, 'universal' signal that could be used by a variety of bacteria for communication among and between species.

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          Most cited references 9

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          Cross-species induction of luminescence in the quorum-sensing bacterium Vibrio harveyi.

          Different species of bacteria were tested for production of extracellular autoinducer-like activities that could stimulate the expression of the luminescence genes in Vibrio harveyi. Several species of bacteria, including the pathogens Vibrio cholerae and Vibrio parahaemolyticus, were found to produce such activities. Possible physiological roles for the two V. harveyi detection-response systems and their joint regulation are discussed.
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            Eukaryotic interference with homoserine lactone-mediated prokaryotic signalling.

            Acylated homoserine lactones (AHLs) play a widespread role in intercellular communication among bacteria. The Australian macroalga Delisea pulchra produces secondary metabolites which have structural similarities to AHL molecules. We report here that these metabolites inhibited AHL-controlled processes in prokaryotes. Our results suggest that the interaction between higher organisms and their surface-associated bacteria may be mediated by interference with bacterial regulatory systems.
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              Quorum sensing in Vibrio fischeri: probing autoinducer-LuxR interactions with autoinducer analogs.

              The Vibrio fischeri luminescence genes are activated by the transcription factor LuxR in combination with a diffusible signal compound, N-(3-oxohexanoyl) homoserine lactone, termed the autoinducer. We have synthesized a set of autoinducer analogs. Many analogs with alterations in the acyl side chain showed evidence of binding to LuxR. Some appeared to bind with an affinity similar to that of the autoinducer, but none showed a higher affinity, and many did not bind as tightly as the autoinducer. For the most part, compounds with substitutions in the homoserine lactone ring did not show evidence of binding to LuxR. The exceptions were compounds with a homocysteine thiolactone ring in place of the homoserine lactone ring. Many but not all of the analogs showing evidence of LuxR binding had some ability to activate the luminescence genes. None were as active as the autoinducer. While most showed little ability to induce luminescence, a few analogs with rather conservative substitutions had appreciable activity. Under the conditions we employed, some of the analogs showing little or no ability to induce luminescence were inhibitors of the autoinducer.
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                11489131

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