Faced with the continued emergence of antibiotic resistance to all known classes of antibiotics, a paradigm shift in approaches toward antifungal therapeutics is required. Well characterized in a broad spectrum of bacterial and fungal pathogens, biofilms are a key factor in limiting the effectiveness of conventional antibiotics. Therefore, therapeutics such as small molecules that prevent or disrupt biofilm formation would render pathogens susceptible to clearance by existing drugs. This is the first report describing the effect of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa alkylhydroxyquinolone interkingdom signal molecules 2-heptyl-3-hydroxy-4-quinolone and 2-heptyl-4-quinolone on biofilm formation in the important fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. Decoration of the anthranilate ring on the quinolone framework resulted in significant changes in the capacity of these chemical messages to suppress biofilm formation. Addition of methoxy or methyl groups at the C5-C7 positions led to retention of anti-biofilm activity, in some cases dependent on the alkyl chain length at position C2. In contrast, halogenation at either the C3 or C6 positions led to loss of activity, with one notable exception. Microscopic staining provided key insights into the structural impact of the parent and modified molecules, identifying lead compounds for further development.
Jerry Reen, F., Phelan, J. P., Woods, D. F., Shanahan, R., Cano, R., Clarke, S., … O’Gara, F. (2016). Harnessing bacterial signals for suppression of biofilm formation in the nosocomial fungal pathogen aspergillus fumigatus. Frontiers in Microbiology, 7(DEC). https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2016.02074