Inhibitors of efflux pumps of Gram-negative bacteria inhibit quorum sensing.

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Quorum Sensing (QS) systems of bacteria consist of a producer of the QS signal and the responder. The
generation of a QS signal provides the means by which a population can behave in a concerted manner such as
swarming, swimming and secretion of biofilm, etc. Because concerted bahaviour bestows protection to the
bacterial species, and hence factors involved in the severity of an infection such as virulence are products of QS
systems, compounds that inhibit the QS system have significant clinical relevance. Recent evidence suggests
that the secretion of QS signals takes place via the efflux pump system of the producer of the signal.
Interestingly, compounds such as phenothiazines and trifluoromethyl ketones (TFs) that inhibit proton motive
force (PMF) activities such as swarming and swimming also inhibit the PMF dependent efflux pump systems of
bacteria and their QS systems. This review discusses the relationship between the efflux pump, the QS system
and the compounds that affect both. Lastly, suggestions are made regarding classes of compounds that have
been shown to inhibit PMF dependent efflux pumps and the need to evaluate them for QS inhibitory properties.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2
JournalOpen Journal of Pharmacology
Issue numberNA
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


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