Proteomics of the bacterial cross-talk by quorum sensing
Di Cagno R
De Angelis M
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Words such as language and behavior are frequently used to depict “quorum sensing” (QS) in the literature. Simplifying the concept, language and cross-talk between bacteria, and between bacteria and animal or plants hosts determine the behavior (e.g., beneficial or pathogenic effects). Genomics and transcriptomics were the principal approaches used to study the multiple mechanisms of QS. Nevertheless, sequencing of genomes paved the way for another approach which consists on comparative and functional proteomics. This review aims at describing how the proteomic dictionary translates: (i) the languages (N-acyl-l-homoserine lactones, AHL; autoinducing peptide, AIP; autoinducer-2, AI-2) used by bacteria to communicate; (ii) signals of QS which induce various phenotypes (e.g., virulence, biofilm maturation); (iii) cross-talk between lactic acid bacteria within various food ecosystems (e.g. sourdough and fermented milk); (iv) probiotic messages at intra- and inter-species and interkingdom levels; and (v) words for quorum quenching (QQ). Proteomics is an indispensible discipline to elucidate the mechanisms of regulation of the multitude of language signals which diffuse through different microbial communities.