Pseudomonas fluorescens, a Gram-negative psychrotrophic bacteria, is the main microorganism causing spoilage of chilled raw milk and aquatic products. Quorum sensing (QS) widely exists in bacteria to monitor their population densities and regulate numerous physiological activities, such as the secretion of siderophores, swarming motility and biofilm formation. Thus, searching for quorum sensing inhibitors (QSIs) may be another promising way to control the deterioration of food caused by P. fluorescens. Here, we screened a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) database to discover potential QSIs with lesser toxicity. The gene sequences of LuxI- and LuxR-type proteins of P. fluorescens P07 were obtained through whole-genome sequencing. In addition, the protein structures built by homology modelling were used as targets to screen for QSIs. Twenty-one compounds with a dock score greater than 6 were purchased and tested by biosensor strains (Chromobacterium violaceum CV026 and Agrobacterium tumefaciens A136). The results showed that 10 of the compounds were determined as hits (hit rate: 66.67%). Benzyl alcohol, rhodinyl formate and houttuynine were effective QSIs. The impact of the most active compound (benzyl alcohol) on the phenotypes of P. fluorescens P07, including swimming and swarming motility, production of extracellular enzymes and siderophores, N-acylhomoserine lactone (AHLs) content and biofilm formation were determined. The inhibitory mechanism of benzyl alcohol on the QS system of P. fluorescens P07 is further discussed. This study reveals the feasibility of searching for novel QSIs through virtual screening. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Journal: Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry