A stable isotope dilution assay for the quantification of the Pseudomonas quinolone signal in Pseudomonas aeruginosa cultures

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2003 Jun 20;1622(1):36-41. doi: 10.1016/s0304-4165(03)00103-x.


A stable isotope dilution method was developed to analyse 2-heptyl-3,4-dihydroxyquinoline, also called the Pseudomonas quinolone signal (PQS), directly in Pseudomonas aeruginosa cultures by liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (LC/MS). PQS, along with the isobaric 2-heptyl-4-hydroxyquinoline N-oxide (HQNO), were quantified in various Pseudomonas liquid cultures using a deuterated PQS analog as internal standard. The kinetic of production of these quinolines in a growing culture of P. aeruginosa PA14 showed that their production starts at the end of the logarithmic growth phase and is maximal at the onset of the stationary growth phase. The concentration of PQS reached a maximum at 13 mg/l and then decreased, while the HQNO concentration reached 18 mg/l and then remained stable. Culture supernatants of P. aeruginosa strains PAO1 and PA14 produced similar concentrations of PQS whereas no PQS or HQNO could be detected in culture supernatants of the P. aeruginosa strain PAK or in the other Pseudomonas species tested, including phytopathogenic pseudomonads.

MeSH terms

  • Hydroxyquinolines / metabolism
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / metabolism*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / pathogenicity
  • Quinolones / metabolism*
  • Virulence Factors / biosynthesis*


  • Hydroxyquinolines
  • Quinolones
  • Virulence Factors