Central role of quorum sensing in regulating the production of pathogenicity factors in Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Future Microbiol. 2008 Feb;3(1):97-106. doi: 10.2217/17460913.3.1.97.


Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an important opportunistic human pathogen, causing various infections that are often very persistent. P. aeruginosa infections are the major cause of death in cystic fibrosis patients. Infections are difficult to treat since P. aeruginosa is resistant to most antibiotics and its antibiotic susceptibility is decreased when it is present in biofilms. P. aeruginosa produces many exoproducts (including toxins and hydrolytic enzymes) that are involved in virulence. Recent research has elucidated many mechanisms and pathways that regulate the production of these virulence factors. The regulation is extremely complex and many components are influenced by environmental conditions. Quorum sensing is a key regulatory system, which itself is affected by many other regulators. Targeting the regulation of pathogenicity factors provides a novel strategy for combating P. aeruginosa infections. Degradation of acyl homoserine lactones, the signaling molecules of the quorum-sensing system, is a promising therapeutic treatment option.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acyl-Butyrolactones / metabolism
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Pseudomonas Infections / drug therapy
  • Pseudomonas Infections / microbiology
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / drug effects
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / genetics
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / physiology*
  • Quorum Sensing / drug effects
  • Quorum Sensing / genetics
  • Quorum Sensing / physiology*
  • Virulence Factors / genetics
  • Virulence Factors / metabolism*


  • Acyl-Butyrolactones
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Virulence Factors