BACKGROUND: Quorum sensing (QS) is a microbial cell-cell signaling system that correlates gene expression with cell population density. It plays important roles in intra-species communications and is also involved in inter-species and microbe-host interactions. Because QS controls a wide spectrum of phenotypes including virulence and biofilm formation, inhibition of QS may provide alternative therapeutic methods for treating microbial infections. OBJECTIVE: To provide an overview of QS inhibitors and their applications. METHODS: Search of databases for patents on QS inhibition submitted between 1999 and 2008. RESULTS/CONCLUSIONS: The reported QS inhibitors include both natural and synthetic agents and can be mainly categorized in three classes: nonpeptide small molecules, peptides and proteins. These inhibitors interrupt QS by repressing signal generation, blocking signal receptors or disrupting QS signals, and provide an alternative approach to controlling microbial pathogenesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Drug Discovery