A previously uncharacterized gene, yjfO (bsmA), influences Escherichia coli biofilm formation and stress response

Department of Biology, Texas State University-San Marcos, 601 University Drive, San Marcos, TX 78666, USA.
Microbiology (Impact Factor: 2.84). 10/2009; 156(Pt 1):139-47. DOI: 10.1099/mic.0.031468-0
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Bacteria growing as surface-adherent biofilms are better able to withstand chemical and physical stresses than their unattached, planktonic counterparts. Using transcriptional profiling and quantitative PCR, we observed a previously uncharacterized gene, yjfO to be upregulated during Escherichia coli MG1655 biofilm growth in a chemostat on serine-limited defined medium. A yjfO mutant, developed through targeted-insertion mutagenesis, and a yjfO-complemented strain, were obtained for further characterization. While bacterial surface colonization levels (c.f.u. cm(-2)) were similar in all three strains, the mutant strain exhibited reduced microcolony formation when observed in flow cells, and greatly enhanced flagellar motility on soft (0.3 %) agar. Complementation of yjfO restored microcolony formation and flagellar motility to wild-type levels. Cell surface hydrophobicity and twitching motility were unaffected by the presence or absence of yjfO. In contrast to the parent strain, biofilms from the mutant strain were less able to resist acid and peroxide stresses. yjfO had no significant effect on E. coli biofilm susceptibility to alkali or heat stress. Planktonic cultures from all three strains showed similar responses to these stresses. Regardless of the presence of yjfO, planktonic E. coli withstood alkali stress better than biofilm populations. Complementation of yjfO restored viability following exposure to peroxide stress, but did not restore acid resistance. Based on its influence on biofilm maturation and stress response, and effects on motility, we propose renaming the uncharacterized gene, yjfO, as bsmA (biofilm stress and motility).

Download full-text


Available from: Deborah A Siegele, Jan 08, 2014
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A unique operon structure has been identified in the genomes of several plant- and insect-associated bacteria. The distinguishing feature of this operon is the presence of tandem hilA and hilB genes encoding dioxygenases belonging to the PF13640 and PF10014 (BsmA) Pfam families, respectively. The genes encoding HilA and HilB from Pantoea ananatis AJ13355 were cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli. The culturing of E. coli cells expressing hilA (E. coli-HilA) or both hilA and hilB (E. coli-HilAB) in the presence of l-isoleucine resulted in the conversion of l-isoleucine into two novel biogenic compounds: l-4'-isoleucine and l-4,4'-dihydroxyisoleucine, respectively. In parallel, two novel enzymatic activities were detected in the crude cell lysates of the E. coli-HilA and E. coli-HilAB strains: l-isoleucine, 2-oxoglutarate: oxygen oxidoreductase (4'-hydroxylating) (HilA) and l-4'-hydroxyisoleucine, 2-oxoglutarate: oxygen oxidoreductase (4-hydroxylating) (HilB), respectively. Two hypotheses regarding the physiological significance of C-4(4')-hydroxylation of l-isoleucine in bacteria are also discussed. According to first hypothesis, the l-isoleucine dihydroxylation cascade is involved in synthesis of dipeptide antibiotic in P. ananatis. Another unifying hypothesis is that the C-4(4')-hydroxylation of l-isoleucine in bacteria could result in the synthesis of signal molecules belonging to two classes: 2(5H)-furanones and analogs of N-acyl homoserine lactone.
    06/2013; 2(3). DOI:10.1002/mbo3.87
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Strain CFT073 is a bona fide uropathogen, whereas strains 83972 and Nissle 1917 are harmless probiotic strains of urinary tract and faecal origin, respectively. Despite their different environmental origins and dispositions the three strains are very closely related and the ancestors of 83972 and Nissle 1917 must have been very similar to CFT073. Here, we report the first functional genome profiling of Nissle 1917 and the first biofilm profiling of a uropathogen. Transcriptomic profiling revealed that Nissle 1917 expressed many UPEC-associated genes and showed that the active genomic profiles of the three strains are closely related. The data demonstrate that the distance from a pathogen to a probiotic strain can be surprisingly short. We demonstrate that Nissle 1917, in spite of its intestinal niche origin, grows well in urine, and is a good biofilm former in this medium in which it also out-competes CFT073 during planktonic growth. The role in biofilm formation of three up-regulated genes, yhaK, yhcN and ybiJ, was confirmed by knockout mutants in Nissle 1917 and CFT073. Two of these mutants CFT073∆yhcN and CFT073∆ybiJ had significantly reduced motility compared with the parent strain, arguably accounting for the impaired biofilm formation. Although the three strains have very different strategies vis-à-vis the human host their functional gene profiles are surprisingly similar. It is also interesting to note that the only two Escherichia coli strains used as probiotics are in fact deconstructed pathogens.
    MGG Molecular & General Genetics 10/2010; 284(6):437-54. DOI:10.1007/s00438-010-0578-8 · 2.83 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Phage therapy is being reexamined as a strategy for bacterial control in medical and other environments. As microorganisms often live in mixed populations, we examined the effect of Escherichia coli bacteriophage λW60 and Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteriophage PB-1 infection on the viability of monoculture and mixed-species biofilm and planktonic cultures. In mixed-species biofilm communities, E. coli and P. aeruginosa maintained stable cell populations in the presence of one or both phages. In contrast, E. coli planktonic populations were severely depleted in coculture in the presence of λW60. Both E. coli and P. aeruginosa developed phage resistance in planktonic culture; however, reduced resistance was observed in biofilm communities. Increased phage titers and reduced resistance in biofilms suggest that phage can replicate on susceptible cells in biofilms. Infectious phage could be released from mixed-culture biofilms upon treatment with Tween 20 but not upon treatment with chloroform. Tween 20 and chloroform treatments had no effect on phage associated with planktonic cells, suggesting that planktonic phage were not cell or matrix associated. Transmission electron microscopy showed bacteriophage particles to be enmeshed in the extracellular polymeric substance component of biofilms and that this substance could be removed by Tween 20 treatment. Overall, this study demonstrates how mixed-culture biofilms can maintain a reservoir of viable phage and bacterial populations in the environment.
    Applied and Environmental Microbiology 02/2011; 77(3):821-9. DOI:10.1128/AEM.01797-10 · 3.95 Impact Factor