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Cinnamaldehyde and cinnamaldehyde derivatives reduce virulence in Vibrio spp. by decreasing the DNA-binding activity of the quorum sensing response regulator LuxR
Brackman, G.; Defoirdt, T.; Miyamoto, C.; Bossier, P.; Van Calenbergh, S.; Nelis, H.J.; Coenye, T. (2008). Cinnamaldehyde and cinnamaldehyde derivatives reduce virulence in Vibrio spp. by decreasing the DNA-binding activity of the quorum sensing response regulator LuxR. BMC Microbiol. 8. dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2180-8-149
In: BMC Microbiology. BioMed Central: London. ISSN 1471-2180, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Brackman, G.
  • Defoirdt, T., more
  • Miyamoto, C.
  • Bossier, P., more
  • Van Calenbergh, S.
  • Nelis, H.J.
  • Coenye, T.

Abstract
    BackgroundTo date, only few compounds targeting the AI-2 based quorum sensing (QS) system are known. In the present study, we screened cinnamaldehyde and substituted cinnamaldehydes for their ability to interfere with AI-2 based QS. The mechanism of QS inhibition was elucidated by measuring the effect on bioluminescence in several Vibrio harveyi mutants. We also studied in vitro the ability of these compounds to interfere with biofilm formation, stress response and virulence of Vibrio spp. The compounds were also evaluated in an in vivo assay measuring the reduction of Vibrio harveyi virulence towards Artemia shrimp.ResultsOur results indicate that cinnamaldehyde and several substituted derivatives interfere with AI-2 based QS without inhibiting bacterial growth. The active compounds neither interfered with the bioluminescence system as such, nor with the production of AI-2. Study of the effect in various mutants suggested that the target protein is LuxR. Mobility shift assays revealed a decreased DNA-binding ability of LuxR. The compounds were further shown to (i) inhibit biofilm formation in several Vibrio spp., (ii) result in a reduced ability to survive starvation and antibiotic treatment, (iii) reduce pigment and protease production in Vibrio anguillarum and (iv) protect gnotobiotic Artemia shrimp against virulent Vibrio harveyi BB120.ConclusionCinnamaldehyde and cinnamaldehyde derivatives interfere with AI-2 based QS in various Vibrio spp. by decreasing the DNA-binding ability of LuxR. The use of these compounds resulted in several marked phenotypic changes, including reduced virulence and increased susceptibility to stress. Since inhibitors of AI-2 based quorum sensing are rare, and considering the role of AI-2 in several processes these compounds may be useful leads towards antipathogenic drugs.

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