• Open Access

Extraction, purification and identification of bacterial signal molecules based on N-acyl homoserine lactones

Authors

  • Jianhua Wang,

    1. Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 457 Zhongshan Road, Dalian, 116023, China.
    2. Graduate University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100049, China.
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  • Chunshan Quan,

    Corresponding author
    1. Life Science College, Dalian Nationalities University, Economical and Technological Development Zone, Dalian, 116600, China.
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  • Xue Wang,

    1. Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 457 Zhongshan Road, Dalian, 116023, China.
    2. Graduate University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100049, China.
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  • Pengchao Zhao,

    1. Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 457 Zhongshan Road, Dalian, 116023, China.
    2. Graduate University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100049, China.
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  • Shengdi Fan

    1. Life Science College, Dalian Nationalities University, Economical and Technological Development Zone, Dalian, 116600, China.
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E-mail mikyeken@dlnu.edu.cn; Tel. (+86) (0) 411 87644496; Fax (+86) (0) 411 87644496.

Summary

Bacteria possess an extraordinary repertoire for intercellular communication and social behaviour. This repertoire for bacterial communication, termed as quorum sensing (QS), depends on specific diffusible signal molecules. There are many different kinds of signal molecules in the bacterial community. Among those signal molecules, N-acyl homoserine lactones (HSLs, in other publications also referred to as AHLs, acy-HSLs etc.) are often employed as QS signal molecules for many Gram-negative bacteria. Due to the specific structure and tiny amount of those HSL signal molecules, the characterization of HSLs has been the subject of extensive investigations in the last decades and has become a paradigm for bacteria intercellular signalling. In this article, different methods, including extraction, purification and characterization of HSLs, are reviewed. The review provides an insight into identification and characterization of new HSLs and other signal molecules for bacterial intercellular communication.

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