AIMSLactobacilli adhere to the intestinal epithelium and this intimate association likely promotes retention in the gastrointestinal tract and communication with the immune system. The aim of this study was to investigate whether or not the quorum-sensing signalling molecule, autoinducer (AI)-2, was produced by Lactobacillus acidophilus and affected adherence to intestinal epithelial cells.METHODSMicroarray analysis of concentrated cells of L. acidophilus NCFM revealed several genes involved in a classic stress response and potentially adhesion. Putative genes linked to the synthesis of the interspecies signalling molecule, AI-2, were overexpressed. Examination of the NCFM genome revealed the complete pathway for AI-2 synthesis. AI-2 activity from NCFM was detected using the Vibrio harveyi BB170 assay system. Using site-specific integration, an isogenic mutation was created in luxS and the resulting mutant did not produce AI-2. In addition to some minor metabolic effects, the luxS mutation resulted in 58% decrease in adherence to Caco-2 cells.CONCLUSIONL. acidophilus NCFM encodes the genes for synthesis of the quorum-sensing signal, AI-2, and produces this molecule during planktonic growth.SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDYThe ability to produce AI-2 affects the ability of L. acidophilus to attach to intestinal epithelial cells.