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Many species of bacteria employ a mechanism of intercellular communication known as quorum sensing which is mediated by small diffusible signalling molecules termed autoinducers. The most common class of autoinducer used by Gram-negative bacteria are N-acylated-L-homoserine lactones (AHLs). Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a clinically important bacterium which is known to use AHL-mediated quorum sensing systems to regulate a variety of processes associated with virulence. Thus the selective disruption of AHL-based quorum sensing represents a strategy to attenuate the pathogenicity of this bacterium. Herein we describe the design, synthesis and biological evaluation of a collection of structurally novel AHL mimics. A number of new compounds capable of modulating the LasR-dependent quorum sensing system of P. aeruginosa were identified, which could have value as molecular tools to study and manipulate this signalling pathway. Worthy of particular note, this research has delivered novel potent quorum sensing antagonists, which strongly inhibit the production of virulence factors in a wild type strain of this pathogenic bacterium.
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Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry
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