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Miniaturized whole-cell bacterial bioreporter assay for identification of quorum sensing interfering compounds

Ilina, Polina, Ma, Xiaochu, Sintim, Herman O., Tammela, Päivi
Journal of microbiological methods 2018 v.154 pp. 40-45
Escherichia coli, antibiotic resistance, bacteria, bacterial infections, beta-galactosidase, pathogenicity, quorum sensing
The continuing emergence and spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is worrisome and new strategies to curb bacterial infections are being sought. The interference of bacterial quorum sensing (QS) signaling has been suggested as a prospective antivirulence strategy. The AI-2 QS system is present in multiple bacterial species and has been shown to be correlated with pathogenicity. To facilitate the discovery of novel compounds interfering with AI-2 QS, we established a high-throughput setup of whole-cell bioreporter assay, which can be performed in either 96- or 384-well format. Agonistic or antagonistic activities of the test compounds against Escherichia coli LsrB-type AI-2 QS system are monitored by measuring the level of β-galactosidase expression. A control strain expressing β-galactosidase in quorum sensing-independent manner is included into the assay for false-positive detection.