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Gaussia luciferase as a reporter for quorum sensing in staphylococcus aureus

Blower, Isobel; Tong, Carmen; Sun, Xiaohui; Murray, Ewan; Luckett, Jeni; Chan, Weng; Williams, Paul; Hill, Philip


Isobel Blower

Carmen Tong

Xiaohui Sun

Ewan Murray

Professor of Molecular Microbiology

Associate Professor


© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Gaussia luciferase (GLuc) is a secreted protein with significant potential for use as a reporter of gene expression in bacterial pathogenicity studies. To date there are relatively few examples of its use in bacteriology. In this study we show that GLuc can be functionally expressed in the human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus and furthermore show that it can be used as a biosensor for the agr quorum sensing (QS) system which employs autoinducing peptides to control virulence. GLuc was linked to the P3 promoter of the S. aureus agr operon. Biosensor strains were validated by evaluation of chemical agent-mediated activation and inhibition of agr. Use of GLuc enabled quantitative assessment of agr activity. This demonstrates the utility of Gaussia luciferase for in vitro monitoring of agr activation and inhibition.


Blower, I., Tong, C., Sun, X., Murray, E., Luckett, J., Chan, W., …Hill, P. (2020). Gaussia luciferase as a reporter for quorum sensing in staphylococcus aureus. Sensors, 20(15), 1-12.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 30, 2020
Online Publication Date Aug 1, 2020
Publication Date Aug 1, 2020
Deposit Date Aug 5, 2020
Publicly Available Date Aug 6, 2020
Journal Sensors
Print ISSN 1424-8220
Electronic ISSN 1424-8220
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 20
Issue 15
Article Number 4305
Pages 1-12
Public URL
Publisher URL


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