This study aimed at getting a deeper insight in the molecular mechanism by which the natural furanone (5Z)-4-bromo-5-(bromomethylene)-3-butyl-2(5H)- furanone disrupts quorum sensing in Vibrio harveyi. Bioluminescence experiments with signal molecule receptor double mutants revealed that the furanone blocks all three channels of the V. harveyi quorum sensing system. In further experiments using mutants with mutations in the quorum sensing signal transduction pathway, the compound was found to block quorum sensing-regulated bioluminescence by interacting with a component located downstream of the Hfq protein. Furthermore, reverse transcriptase real-time polymerase chain reaction with specific primers showed that there was no effect of the furanone on luxRVh mRNA levels in wild-type V. harveyi cells. In contrast, mobility shift assays showed that in the presence of the furanone, significantly lower levels of the LuxRVh response regulator protein were able to bind to its target promoter sequences in wild-type V. harveyi. Finally, tests with purified LuxRVh protein also showed less shifts with furanone-treated LuxRVh, whereas the LuxRVh concentration was found not to be altered by the furanone (as determined by SDS-PAGE). Therefore, our data indicate that the furanone blocks quorum sensing in V. harveyi by rendering the quorum sensing master regulator protein LuxR Vh unable to bind to the promoter sequences of quorum sensing-regulated genes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics