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Interkingdom signaling by structurally related cyanobacterial and algal secondary metabolites


Several groups of structurally-related compounds, comprised of either five or six-membered ring structures with attached lipophilic carbon chains and in some cases possessing halogen atoms, have been isolated from various marine algae and filamentous cyanobacteria. The related compounds considered in the present work include the coibacins, laurenciones, honaucins, malyngamides and the tumonoic acids. Members of all of these compound families were assayed and found to inhibit the production of nitric oxide in lipopolysaccharides-stimulated macrophages, indicating their anti-inflammatory potential. In addition, several of these same marine natural products were found to inhibit quorum sensing mediated phenotypes in Vibrio harveyi BB120 and/or Escherichia coli JB525. The mechanism and evolutionary significance for inhibition of these cellular processes in prokaryotic and eukaryotic systems are speculated on and discussed.

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This research was partially funded by the International Cooperative Biodiversity grant (U01 TW006634), the Ledger Benbough Foundation to L.G, NIH/FIC International Research Scientist Development Award (IRSDA) to M.J.B., NIGMS Training grant in marine biotechnology to S.M., NIH/NIGMS Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award (IRACDA) fellowship to F.V. and an E.W Scripps Fellowship to P.B.

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Correspondence to Lena Gerwick.

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Gerwick, L., Boudreau, P., Choi, H. et al. Interkingdom signaling by structurally related cyanobacterial and algal secondary metabolites. Phytochem Rev 12, 459–465 (2013).

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  • Quorum sensing
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Lactone
  • Acyl chain
  • Marine natural products