Synthesis of D-desthiobiotin-AI-2 as a novel chemical probe for autoinducer-2 quorum sensing receptors

Vanessa Miranda, Inês M. Torcato, Karina B. Xavier, M. Rita Ventura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


In processes regulated by quorum sensing (QS) bacteria respond to the concentration of autoinducers in the environment to engage in group behaviours. Autoinducer-2 (AI-2) is unique as it can foster interspecies communication. Currently, two AI-2 receptors are known, LuxP and LsrB, but bacteria lacking these receptors can also respond to AI-2. In this work, we present an efficient and reproducible synthesis of a novel chemical probe, D-desthiobiotin-AI-2. This probe binds both LuxP and LsrB receptors from different species of bacteria. Thus, this probe is able to bind receptors that recognise the two known biologically active forms of AI-2, presenting the plasticity essential for the identification of novel unknown AI-2 receptors. Moreover, a protocol to pull down receptors bound to D-desthiobiotin-AI-2 with anti-biotin antibodies has also been established. Altogether, this work highlights the potential of conjugating chemical signals to biotinylated derivatives to identify and tag signal receptors involved in quorum sensing or other chemical signalling processes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103200
JournalBioorganic Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019


  • AI-2
  • AI-2 receptors
  • Biotin
  • Chemical probe
  • Desthiobiotin
  • Quorum sensing

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