Quorum sensing is a form of intercellular communication used by many species of bacteria that facilitates concerted interactions between the cells comprising a population. The phenotypes regulated by quorum sensing are extremely diverse, with many having a significant impact upon healthcare, agriculture, and the environment. Consequently there has been significant interest in developing methods to manipulate this signalling process and recent years have witnessed significant theoretical and practical developments. A wide range of small molecule modulators of quorum sensing systems has been discovered, providing an expansive chemical toolbox for the study and modulation of this signalling mechanism. In this review, a selection of recent case studies which illustrate the value of both activators and inhibitors of quorum sensing in Gram-negative bacteria are discussed.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by grants from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, Medical Research Council, Royal Society, Frances and Augustus Newman Foundation, and Wellcome Trust. J.T.H. is supported by a Medical Research Council strategic priority studentship awarded to M.W. and D.R.S.
- Quorum sensing