Pseudomonas aeruginosa produces the cell-to-cell signal molecule 2-heptyl-3-hydroxy-4-quinolone (The Pseudomonasquinolonesignal; PQS), which is integrated within a complicated quorum sensing signaling system. PQS belongs to the family of 2-alkyl-4-quinolones (AQs), which have been previously described for their antimicrobial activities. PQS is synthesized via the pqsABCDEoperon which is responsible for generating multiple AQs including 2-heptyl-4-quinolone (HHQ), the immediate PQS precursor. In addition, PQS signaling plays an important role in P. aeruginosapathogenesis because it regulates the production of diverse virulence factors including elastase, pyocyanin and LecA lectin in addition to affecting biofilm formation. Here, we summarize the most recent findings on the biosynthesis and regulation of PQS and other AQs including the discovery of AQs in other bacterial species.
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