Chemical signaling among bacteria and its inhibition

Chem Biol. 2003 Nov;10(11):1007-21. doi: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2003.11.003.


Generations of chemists and biologists have conducted research on natural products and other metabolites produced by bacteria and other microorganisms. This has led to an explosion in knowledge concerning the mechanism by which such natural products are made, ultimately allowing custom redesign of many of these molecules for increased potency and selectivity as therapeutic drugs. Along the way, scientists have begun to appreciate that the bacterial world is teeming with life on a scale hardly conceivable, with constant communication within the bacterial world and with outside neighbors, such as plants and mammals. Only in recent years have some of the signaling molecules that comprise these elaborate forms of communication been characterized in any sort of chemical detail, which has in turn peaked interest in the intricate biology of this micro-world and its interactions with the macro-world.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / classification
  • Bacteria / metabolism*
  • Bacterial Physiological Phenomena
  • Signal Transduction* / drug effects
  • Species Specificity