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Pathogens 2018, 7(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens7010003

PqsA Promotes Pyoverdine Production via Biofilm Formation

Department of Biosciences, Rice University, Houston, TX 77005, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 October 2017 / Revised: 18 December 2017 / Accepted: 22 December 2017 / Published: 25 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Signaling Systems in Pseudomonas aeruginosa Biofilm)
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Abstract

Biofilms create an impermeable barrier against antimicrobial treatment and immune cell access, severely complicating treatment and clearance of nosocomial Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections. We recently reported that biofilm also contributes to pathogen virulence by regulating the production of the siderophore pyoverdine. In this study, we investigated the role of PqsA, a key cell-signaling protein, in this regulatory pathway. We demonstrate that PqsA promotes pyoverdine production in a biofilm-dependent manner. Under nutritionally deficient conditions, where biofilm and pyoverdine are decoupled, PqsA is dispensable for pyoverdine production. Interestingly, although PqsA-dependent pyoverdine production does not rely upon Pseudomonas quinolone signal (PQS) biosynthesis, exogenous PQS can also trigger biofilm-independent production of pyoverdine. Adding PQS rapidly induced planktonic cell aggregation. Moreover, these clumps of cells exhibit strong expression of pyoverdine biosynthetic genes and show substantial production of this siderophore. Finally, we surveyed the relationship between biofilm formation and pyoverdine production in various clinical and environmental isolates of P. aeruginosa to evaluate the clinical significance of targeting biofilm during infections. Our findings implicate PqsA in P. aeruginosa virulence by regulating biofilm formation and pyoverdine production. View Full-Text
Keywords: Pseudomonas aeruginosa; PQS signaling; biofilm; cell aggregation; pyoverdine; virulence Pseudomonas aeruginosa; PQS signaling; biofilm; cell aggregation; pyoverdine; virulence
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Kang, D.; Turner, K.E.; Kirienko, N.V. PqsA Promotes Pyoverdine Production via Biofilm Formation. Pathogens 2018, 7, 3.

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