Hide-and-Seek Game Between Enzyme and Substrate In Quorum Sensing Signal Synthesis: Decoding Bacterial Secret Communication
Bacteria require social interactions to launch an infectious attack or grow in to a biofilm. These social interactions are facilitated by specific small-molecule communication signals aka quorum sensing (QS) signals that enable each bacterium to sense their local population densities. Pseudomonas aeruginosa, an opportunistic human pathogen utilizes two distinct signal synthesizing enzymes aka I-proteins that recognizes specific acyl carrier protein substrates to make “specific” QS signals for the bacterium. Although there are many types of acyl carrier protein substrates inside a bacterial cell, how the enzyme recognizes the correct substrate is the interest of our research. Understanding this recognition mechanism will help us inhibit the signal synthesis required for effective communication (crucial for virulence) among bacteria. This antivirulence approach could open new doors to treat bacterial infection without antibiotics.