Effect of Capsicum frutescens extract, capsaicin, and luteolin on quorum sensing regulated phenotypes

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Capsicum peppers have not been investigated as sources of quorum sensing (QS) inhibitors. This study aimed to identify compounds in pimenta-malagueta (Capsicum frutescens) and red pepper (Capsicum annuum) extracts and to evaluate their effect on violacein production in Chromobacterium violaceum ATCC 12472 and C. violaceum CV026, as well as biofilm formation (BF) in Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 and Serratia marcescens MG1. Among the extracts, pimenta-malagueta methanolic extract (PMME) was chosen because it contained capsaicin, dihydrocapsaicin, and luteolin in greater amount than the other extracts. In general, PMME partially inhibited bacterial growth at 2.5 and 5.0 mg/mL, as well as capsaicin at 100 µg/mL and luteolin at 62.5, 125, and 250 µg/mL. At lower concentrations, PMME and luteolin reduced violacein production in C. violaceum ATCC 12472 without affecting growth, a result that was not observed with capsaicin. We show that violacein inhibition by PMME is likely due to luteolin. In silico docking evaluation showed that luteolin binds to the CviR QS regulator. Crystal violet staining and confocal microscopy revealed that BF was increased by PMME and capsaicin, being remarkably superior for P. aeruginosa PAO1 at 30 °C. Capsaicin is not an effective QS inhibitor, while luteolin should be further investigated for its potential effects in QS regulated phenotypes.
Rivera MLC, Hassimotto NMA, Bueris V, Sircili MP, Almeida FA, Pinto UM. Effect of Capsicum frutescens extract, capsaicin, and luteolin on quorum sensing regulated phenotypes. J. food sci. 2019 June;84(6):1477-1486. doi:10.1111/1750-3841.14648.
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