Biochemical and biophysical research communications

Exposure of airway epithelial cells to Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm-derived quorum sensing molecules decrease the activity of the anti-oxidant response element bound by NRF2.

PMID 28062182


Chronic bacterial infections in cystic fibrosis lung disease are often characterized by Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms that are regulated by bacterial intercellular signals termed quorum sensing (QS), such as N-(3-oxododecanoyl)-l-homoserine lactone (3OC12-HSL). This study reports that biofilm-derived exoproducts decrease the transcriptional activity of the anti-oxidant response element in bronchial epithelial cells. In a live co-culture assay of BEAS-2B cells and P. aeruginosa biofilm, the QS molecule 3OC12-HSL was an important but not sole contributor to the inhibition of basal NRF2 luciferase reporter activity. Moreover, biofilm-derived exoproducts and 3OC12-HSL decrease the expression of endogenous antioxidant response element-regulated genes hemeoxygenase-1 (HO-1) and NAD(P)H Quinone Dehydrogenase-1 (NQO-1) while they increase IL-8 expression. As previously reported, IL-8 expression is partially dependent on p38 MAPK activity, but the inhibitory effect of biofilm QS molecules on HO-1 and NQO-1 expression occurs independently of this protein kinase. Finally, the transfection of CFTRdelF508 but not its wild type counterpart decreases basal, planktonic PsaDM and sulforaphane-driven NRF2 luciferase reporter activity in BEAS-2B cells. Therefore, the presence of quorum sensing molecules derived from bacterial biofilms lowers the transcriptional activity of the anti-oxidant response element, which may contribute to the establishment of chronic bacterial infections, especially in the presence of mutated CFTR. Increasing NRF2 activity may thus be a promising strategy to potentiate anti-biofilm activity in cystic fibrosis lung disease.

Related Materials

Product #



Molecular Formula

Add to Cart

N-(3-Oxododecanoyl)-L-homoserine lactone, quorum sensing signaling molecule