Identification of ground beef-derived fatty acid inhibitors of autoinducer-2-based cell signaling. Academic Article uri icon


  • Autoinducer-2 (AI-2) molecules are used by several microorganisms to modulate various processes, including bioluminescence, biofilm formation, and virulence expression. Certain food matrices, including ground beef extracts, possess compounds capable of inhibiting AI-2 activity. In the present study, we identified and characterized these AI-2 inhibitors from ground beef extract using hexane solvent extraction and gas chromatography. Gas chromatographic analysis revealed the presence of several fatty acids such as palmitic acid (C16:0), stearic acid (C18:0), oleic acid (C18:omega9), and linoleic acid (C18:omega6) that were capable of inhibiting AI-2 activity. These fatty acids were tested (using Vibrio harveyi BB170 and MM32 reporter strains) at different concentrations (1, 5, and 10 mM) to identify differences in the level of AI-2 activity inhibition. AI-2 inhibition ranged from 25 to 90%. A mixture of these fatty acids (prepared at concentrations equivalent to those present in the ground beef extract) produced 52 to 65% inhibition of AI-2 activity. The fatty acid mixture also negatively influenced Escherichia coli K-12 biofilm formation. These results demonstrate that both medium- and long-chain fatty acids in ground beef have the ability to interfere with AI-2-based cell signaling.

published proceedings

  • J Food Prot

author list (cited authors)

  • Soni, K. A., Jesudhasan, P., Cepeda, M., Widmer, K., Jayaprakasha, G. K., Patil, B. S., Hume, M. E., & Pillai, S. D.

citation count

  • 46

complete list of authors

  • Soni, Kamlesh A||Jesudhasan, Palmy||Cepeda, Martha||Widmer, Kenneth||Jayaprakasha, GK||Patil, Bhimanagouda S||Hume, Michael E||Pillai, Suresh D

publication date

  • January 2008