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Open Journal of Pharmacology

ISSN: 2075-910X
Volume 3, 2017

Indexed in:

Open Journal of Pharmacology, 2012, 2-2 [Review Article]

Inhibitors of efflux pumps of Gram-negative bacteria inhibit Quorum Sensing
Leonard Amaral1,2*, Joseph Molnar2,3
1 Grupo de Micobacterias, Unidade de Microbacterilogia, Centro de Malaria e Doenças Tropicais (CMDT), Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
2 Cost Action BM0701 (ATENS) of the European Commission/European Science Foundation
3 Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunobiology, University of Szeged, Szeged, Hungary

Corresponding Author & Address:

Leonard Amaral*
Unidade de Microbacterilogia, Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical, Universidade Nova de Lisboa Rua Junqueira 100, 1349-008 Lisbon, Portugal; Tel +3513652600; Fax +351 213632105; Email: lamaral@ihmt.unl.pt

Article History:
Published: 16th July, 2012   Accepted: 16th July, 2012
Received: 11th April, 2012   Revised: 8th June, 2012

©Amaral et al.; licensee Ross Science Publishers

ROSS Open Access articles will be distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided that the original work will always be cited properly.

Keywords: Quorum Sensing, QS signal, acylated hydroxyl lactone (AHL), efflux pumps, Proton Motive Force (PMF), inhibitors of efflux pumps, inhibitors of QS systems, phenothiazines, Trifluormethyl Ketones (TFs), plants sources for QS inhibitors


Quorum Sensing (QS) systems of bacteria consist of a producer of the QS signal and the responder. The generation of a QS signal provides the means by which a population can behave in a concerted manner such as swarming, swimming and secretion of biofilm, etc. Because concerted bahaviour bestows protection to the bacterial species, and hence factors involved in the severity of an infection such as virulence are products of QS systems, compounds that inhibit the QS system have significant clinical relevance. Recent evidence suggests that the secretion of QS signals takes place via the efflux pump system of the producer of the signal. Interestingly, compounds such as phenothiazines and trifluoromethyl ketones (TFs) that inhibit proton motive force (PMF) activities such as swarming and swimming also inhibit the PMF dependent efflux pump systems of bacteria and their QS systems. This review discusses the relationship between the efflux pump, the QS system and the compounds that affect both. Lastly, suggestions are made regarding classes of compounds that have been shown to inhibit PMF dependent efflux pumps and the need to evaluate them for QS inhibitory properties.

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