Biofilm inhibitor taurolithocholic acid alters colony morphology, specialized metabolism, and virulence of pseudomonas aeruginosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Alanna R Condren
  • Lisa Juliane Kahl
  • Gabriela Boelter
  • George Kritikos
  • Lars E P Dietrich
  • Laura M Sanchez

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences , University of Illinois at Chicago , 833 South Wood Street , Chicago , Illinois 60612 , United States.
  • Department of Biological Sciences , Columbia University , 617 Fairchild Center , New York , New York 10027 , United States.
  • School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham


Biofilm inhibition by exogenous molecules has been an attractive strategy for the development of novel therapeutics. We investigated the biofilm inhibitor taurolithocholic acid (TLCA) and its effects on the specialized metabolism, virulence, and biofilm formation of the clinically relevant bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain PA14. Our study shows that TLCA alters the specialized metabolism, thereby affecting P. aeruginosa colony biofilm physiology. We observed an upregulation of metabolites correlated to virulence such as the siderophore pyochelin. A wax moth virulence assay confirmed that treatment with TLCA increases the virulence of P. aeruginosa. On the basis of our results, we believe that future endeavors to identify biofilm inhibitors must consider how a putative lead alters the specialized metabolism of a bacterial community to prevent pathogens from entering a highly virulent state.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)603-612
Number of pages10
JournalACS Infectious Diseases
Issue number4
Early online date18 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2020


  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa, bile acid, biofilms, taurolithocholic acid, virulence

ASJC Scopus subject areas