Pseudomonas aeruginosa depends on its quorum sensing (QS) system for its virulence factors' production and biofilm formation. Biofilms of P. aeruginosa on the surface of indwelling catheters are often resistant to antibiotic therapy. Alternative approaches that employ QS inhibitors alone or in combination with antibiotics are being developed to tackle P. aeruginosa infections. Here, we have studied the mechanism of action of 3-Phenyllactic acid (PLA), a QS inhibitory compound produced by Lactobacillus species, against P. aeruginosa PAO1. Our study revealed that PLA inhibited the expression of virulence factors such as pyocyanin, protease, and rhamnolipids that are involved in the biofilm formation of P. aeruginosa PAO1. Swarming motility, another important criterion for biofilm formation of P. aeruginosa PAO1, was also inhibited by PLA. Gene expression, mass spectrometric, functional complementation assays, and in silico data indicated that the quorum quenching and biofilm inhibitory activities of PLA are attributed to its ability to interact with P. aeruginosa QS receptors. PLA antagonistically binds to QS receptors RhlR and PqsR with a higher affinity than its cognate ligands N-butyryl-L-homoserine lactone (C-HSL) and 2-heptyl-3,4-dihydroxyquinoline (PQS; Pseudomonas quinolone signal). Using an in vivo intraperitoneal catheter-associated medaka fish infection model, we proved that PLA inhibited the initial attachment of P. aeruginosa PAO1 on implanted catheter tubes. Our in vitro and in vivo results revealed the potential of PLA as anti-biofilm compound against P. aeruginosa.
M. Chatterjee, D'Morris, S., Paul, V., Warrier, S., Vasudevan, A. Kumar, Muralidharan Vanuopadath, Nair, S. Sadasivan, Paul-Prasanth, B., C Mohan, G., and Biswas, R., “Mechanistic understanding of Phenyllactic acid mediated inhibition of quorum sensing and biofilm development in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.”, Appl Microbiol Biotechnol, vol. 101, no. 22, pp. 8223-8236, 2017.