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Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences


Quorum sensing (QS) antagonists have been proposed as novel therapeutic agents to combat bacterial infections. We previously reported that the secondary metabolite 3-methyl-N-(2′-phenylethyl)-butyramide, produced by a marine bacterium identified as Halobacillus salinus, inhibits QS controlled phenotypes in multiple Gram-negative reporter strains. Here we report that N-phenethyl hexanamide, a structurally-related compound produced by the marine bacterium Vibrio neptunius, similarly demonstrates QS inhibitory properties. To more fully explore structure–activity relationships within this new class of QS inhibitors, a panel of twenty analogs was synthesized and biologically evaluated. Several compounds were identified with increased attenuation of QS-regulated phenotypes, most notably N-(4-fluorophenyl)-3-phenylpropanamide against the marine pathogen Vibrio harveyi (IC50 = 1.1 µM). These findings support the opportunity to further develop substituted phenethylamides as QS inhibitors.

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