Lauroyl arginate ethyl blocks the iron signals necessary for Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm development

Taek Seung Kim, So Young Ham, Bernie B. Park, Youngjoo Byun, Hee Deung Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a ubiquitous gram-negative bacterium capable of forming a biofilm on living and non-living surfaces, which frequently leads to undesirable consequences. We found that lauroyl arginate ethyl (LAE), a synthetic non-oxidizing biocide, inhibited biofilm formation by P. aeruginosa at a sub-growth inhibitory concentration under both static and flow conditions. A global transcriptome analysis was conducted using a gene chip microarray to identify the genes targeted by LAE. In response to LAE treatment, P. aeruginosa cells up-regulated iron acquisition and signaling genes and down-regulated iron storage genes. LAE demonstrated the capacity to chelate iron in an experiment in which free LAE molecules were measured by increasing the ratio of iron to LAE. Furthermore, compared to untreated cells, P. aeruginosa cells treated with LAE exhibited enhanced twitching motility, a phenotype that is usually evident when the cells are starved for iron. Taken together, these results imply that LAE generated iron-limiting conditions, and in turn, blocked iron signals necessary for P. aeruginosa biofilm development. As destroying or blocking signals leading to biofilm development would be an efficient way to mitigate problematic biofilms, our findings suggest that LAE can aid in reducing P. aeruginosa biofilms for therapeutic and industrial purposes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number970
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Issue numberMAY
Publication statusPublished - 2017 May 30

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by grants from the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea (2015R1D1A1A09057657 and 2014R1A4A1007304).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Kim, Ham, Park, Byun and Park.


  • Biofilm
  • Biofilm inhibitor
  • Iron
  • Lauroyl arginate ethyl
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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