Many plant metabolites and structurally similar derivatives have been identified as inhibitors of bacterial biofilm formation. Previously, the researchers of this study demonstrated biofilm and QS inhibition using modified cysteines, similar to those produced by the tropical plant Petiveria alliacea. In this study the researchers expanded their compound library to examine structure-activity relationships for biofilm and QS inhibition.
The use of plant-inspired cysteine derivatives to inhibit bacterial virulence may serve as a novel tool to improve oral health. The researchers of this study propose that the compounds that were used may stop biofilm formation by interrupting bacterial communicatio, particularly in AI-2 biosynthetic reactions. Since their library is derived from eukaryotic (plant) origins, this study may provide initial evidence of interkingdom signaling, which has implications for studies of the human microbiome.