Cobalt Complex with Thiazole-Based Ligand as New Pseudomonas aeruginosa Quorum Quencher, Biofilm Inhibitor and Virulence Attenuator

Molecules. 2018 Jun 8;23(6):1385. doi: 10.3390/molecules23061385.


Pseudomonas aeruginosa is one of the most dreaded human pathogens, because of its intrinsic resistance to a number of commonly used antibiotics and ability to form sessile communities (biofilms). Innovative treatment strategies are required and that can rely on the attenuation of the pathogenicity and virulence traits. The interruption of the mechanisms of intercellular communication in bacteria (quorum sensing) is one of such promising strategies. A cobalt coordination compound (Co(HL)₂) synthesized from (E)-2-(2-(pyridin-2-ylmethylene)hydrazinyl)-4-(p-tolyl)thiazole (HL) is reported herein for the first time to inhibit P. aeruginosa 3-oxo-C12-HSL-dependent QS system (LasI/LasR system) and underling phenotypes (biofilm formation and virulence factors). Its interactions with a possible target, the transcriptional activator protein complex LasR-3-oxo-C12-HSL, was studied by molecular modeling with the coordination compound ligand having stronger predicted interactions than those of co-crystallized ligand 3-oxo-C12-HSL, as well as known-binder furvina. Transition metal group 9 coordination compounds may be explored in antipathogenic/antibacterial drug design.

Keywords: antibacterial resistance; antivirulence/antipathogenic compounds; biofilm prevention; cobalt complex; furvina; pyocyanin; pyoverdine; quorum sensing inhibition; transcriptional activator protein LasR.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Biofilms / drug effects*
  • Cobalt / chemistry*
  • Ligands
  • Luminescence
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Molecular Docking Simulation
  • Oligopeptides / biosynthesis
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / drug effects*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / pathogenicity
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / physiology
  • Pyocyanine / biosynthesis
  • Quorum Sensing*
  • Thiazoles / chemistry
  • Thiazoles / pharmacology*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Ligands
  • Oligopeptides
  • Thiazoles
  • Cobalt
  • pyoverdin
  • Pyocyanine