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Targeting agr- and agr-Like Quorum Sensing Systems for Development of Common Therapeutics to Treat Multiple Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections

by Brian Gray 1,2,*, Pamela Hall 1,2 and Hattie Gresham 2,3
1
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy/MRF 208, MSC09 5360, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001, USA
2
Research Service, New Mexico Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Albuquerque, NM 87108, USA
3
Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2013, 13(4), 5130-5166; https://doi.org/10.3390/s130405130
Received: 27 February 2013 / Revised: 6 April 2013 / Accepted: 12 April 2013 / Published: 18 April 2013
(This article belongs to the Section Biosensors)
Invasive infection by the Gram-positive pathogen Staphylococcus aureus is controlled by a four gene operon, agr that encodes a quorum sensing system for the regulation of virulence. While agr has been well studied in S. aureus, the contribution of agr homologues and analogues in other Gram-positive pathogens is just beginning to be understood. Intriguingly, other significant human pathogens, including Clostridium perfringens, Listeria monocytogenes, and Enterococcus faecalis contain agr or analogues linked to virulence. Moreover, other significant human Gram-positive pathogens use peptide based quorum sensing systems to establish or maintain infection. The potential for commonality in aspects of these signaling systems across different species raises the prospect of identifying therapeutics that could target multiple pathogens. Here, we review the status of research into these agr homologues, analogues, and other peptide based quorum sensing systems in Gram-positive pathogens as well as the potential for identifying common pathways and signaling mechanisms for therapeutic discovery. View Full-Text
Keywords: quorum sensing; peptide pheromones; bacterial pathogenesis quorum sensing; peptide pheromones; bacterial pathogenesis
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Gray, B.; Hall, P.; Gresham, H. Targeting agr- and agr-Like Quorum Sensing Systems for Development of Common Therapeutics to Treat Multiple Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections. Sensors 2013, 13, 5130-5166.

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