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Biological Procedures Online

Open Access

Construction of a bacterial autoinducer detection system in mammalian cells

  • Erin K. Shiner1,
  • Sheila Reddy2, 3,
  • Cody Timmons4,
  • Guigen Li4,
  • Simon C. Williams2, 3 and
  • Kendra P. Rumbaugh5Email author
Biological Procedures Online6:610268

Received: 30 November 2004

Accepted: 20 December 2004


Quorum sensing (QS) is a cell density-dependent signaling system used by bacteria to coordinate gene expression within a population. QS systems in Gram negative bacteria consist of transcription factors of the LuxR family and their acyl homoserine lactone (AHL) ligands. We describe here a method for examining QS signaling systems in mammalian cells that uses engineered LuxR-type proteins from the opportunistic pathogen, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which can function as AHL-dependent transcription factors. The engineered proteins respond to their cognate ligands and display sequence specific DNA binding properties. This system has several potential biotechnological and biological applications. It may be used to characterize any LuxR-type protein, screen animal and plant cell extracts or exudates for compounds that mimic or interfere with AHL signaling or to screen different cell types for AHL inactivating activities.

Indexing terms

Pseudomonas aeruginosa autoinducerLuxR protein