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Quorum sensing in Acinetobacter: with special emphasis on antibiotic resistance, biofilm formation and quorum quenching

1 Department of Microbiology, College of Medicine, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Republic of Korea.
2 Department of Nanobiomedical Science, Dankook University, Cheonan, Republic of Korea.
† These authors equally contributed to this paper.

Acinetobacter is an important nosocomial, opportunistic human pathogen that is gradually gaining more attention as a major health threat worldwide. Quorum sensing (QS) is a cell-cell communication system in which specific signaling molecules called autoinducers accumulate in the medium as the population density grows and control various physiological processes including production of virulence factors, biofilm and development of antibiotic resistance. The complex QS machinery in Acinetobacter is mediated by a two-component system which is homologous to the typical LuxI/LuxR system found in Gram-negative bacteria. This cell signaling system comprises of a sensor protein that functions as autoinducer synthase and a receptor protein which binds to the signal molecules, acyl homoserine lactones inducing a cascade of reactions. Lately, disruption of QS has emerged as an anti-virulence strategy with great therapeutic potential. Here, we depict the current understanding of the existing QS network in Acinetobacter and describe important anti-virulent strategies developed in order to effectively tackle this pathogen. In addition, the prospects of quorum quenching to control Acinetobacter infections is also been discussed.
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