Fatty Acids as Mediators of Intercellular Signaling
Mechanisms of intercellular communication as a function of population density exist in many bacteria. These signaling circuits are based on the release of diffusible molecules to the extracellular medium and their detection and subsequent alteration of global gene expression above certain concentration thresholds. Fatty acids are structural parts of different signal molecules, such as acyl homoserine lactones, where the length and modifications of the acyl side chains play a role as determinants of signal specificity. Yet, fatty acids and fatty acid derivatives are increasingly being reported as intra- and interspecies cell-cell communication signals and also mediate interactions of bacteria with other organisms. These signals appear to be particularly relevant in plant-associated bacteria, but are also present in other microorganisms, and could offer a chance to develop new strategies to combat pathogens.
Work in the author’s group on cellular responses and regulatory mechanisms in bacterial populations and biofilms is funded by grant BFU2013-43469-P from Plan Estatal de I+D+I and EFDR funds.
- Bassler BL, Losick R(2006) Bacterially speaking. Cell 125:237–246.Google Scholar
- Déziel E, Lépine F, Milot S, He J, Mindrinos MN, Tompkins RG, Rahme LG (2004) Analysis of Pseudomonas aeruginosa 4-hydroxy-2-alkylquinolines (HAQs) reveals a role for 4-hydroxy-2-heptylquinoline in cell-to-cell communication. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 101:1339–1344CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Diggle SP, Lumjiaktase P, Dipilato F, Winzer K, Kunakorn M, Barrett DA, Chhabra SR, Cámara M, Williams P (2006) Functional genetic analysis reveals a 2-Alkyl-4-quinolone signaling system in the human pathogen Burkholderia pseudomallei and related bacteria. Chem Biol 13:701–710CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Diggle SP, Matthijs S, Wright VJ, Fletcher MP, Chhabra SR, Lamont IL, Kong X, Hider RC, Cornelis P, Cámara M, Williams P (2007b) The Pseudomonas aeruginosa 4-quinolone signal molecules HHQ and PQS play multifunctional roles in quorum sensing and iron entrapment. Chem Biol 14:87–96CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Hays E, Wells E, Katzman I, Cain C, Jacobs CK, Thayer FA, Doisy SA, Gaby EA, Roberts WL, Muir EC, Carroll RD, Jones CJ, Wade NJ (1945) Antibiotic substances produced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. J Biol Chem 159:725–750Google Scholar
- Laue BE, Jiang Y, Chhabra SR, Jacob S, Stewart GS, Hardman A, Downie JA, O’Gara F, Williams P (2000) The biocontrol strain Pseudomonas fluorescens F113 produces the Rhizobium small bacteriocin, N-(3-hydroxy-7-cis-tetradecenoyl)homoserine lactone, via HdtS, a putative novel N-acylhomoserine lactone synthase. Microbiology 146:2469–2480CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Ryan RP, Fouhy Y, Garcia BF, Watt SA, Niehaus K, Yang L, Tolker-Nielsen T, Dow JM (2008) Interspecies signalling via the Stenotrophomonas maltophilia diffusible signal factor influences biofilm formation and polymyxin tolerance in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Mol Microbiol 68:75–86CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar