Three-dimensional structure of the quorum-quenching N-acyl homoserine lactone hydrolase from Bacillus thuringiensis Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Bacillus thuringiensis
  • Carboxylic Ester Hydrolases


  • The three-dimensional structure of the N-acyl-l-homoserine lactone hydrolase (AHL lactonase) from Bacillus thuringiensis has been determined, by using single-wavelength anomalous dispersion (SAD) phasing, to 1.6-angstroms resolution. AHLs are produced by many Gram-negative bacteria as signaling molecules used in quorum-sensing pathways that indirectly sense cell density and regulate communal behavior. Because of their importance in pathogenicity, quorum-sensing pathways have been suggested as potential targets for the development of novel therapeutics. Quorum-sensing can be disrupted by enzymes evolved to degrade these lactones, such as AHL lactonases. These enzymes are members of the metallo-beta-lactamase superfamily and contain two zinc ions in their active sites. The zinc ions are coordinated to a number of ligands, including a single oxygen of a bridging carboxylate and a bridging water/hydroxide ion, thought to be the nucleophile that hydrolyzes the AHLs to ring-opened products, which can no longer act as quorum signals.

publication date

  • August 16, 2005



  • Academic Article



  • eng

PubMed Central ID

  • PMC1187999

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1073/pnas.0505255102

PubMed ID

  • 16087890

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 11882

end page

  • 7


  • 102


  • 33