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J Bacteriol. 2004 Dec;186(24):8213-20.

Genes involved in the synthesis and degradation of matrix polysaccharide in Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans and Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae biofilms.

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  • 1Medical Science Building, Room C-636, 185 S. Orange Ave., Newark, NJ 07103, USA. kaplanjb@umdnj.edu


Biofilms are composed of bacterial cells embedded in an extracellular polysaccharide matrix. A major component of the Escherichia coli biofilm matrix is PGA, a linear polymer of N-acetyl-D-glucosamine residues in beta(1,6) linkage. PGA mediates intercellular adhesion and attachment of cells to abiotic surfaces. In this report, we present genetic and biochemical evidence that PGA is also a major matrix component of biofilms produced by the human periodontopathogen Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans and the porcine respiratory pathogen Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae. We also show that PGA is a substrate for dispersin B, a biofilm-releasing glycosyl hydrolase produced by A. actinomycetemcomitans, and that an orthologous dispersin B enzyme is produced by A. pleuropneumoniae. We further show that A. actinomycetemcomitans PGA cross-reacts with antiserum raised against polysaccharide intercellular adhesin, a staphylococcal biofilm matrix polysaccharide that is genetically and structurally related to PGA. Our findings confirm that PGA functions as a biofilm matrix polysaccharide in phylogenetically diverse bacterial species and suggest that PGA may play a role in intercellular adhesion and cellular detachment and dispersal in A. actinomycetemcomitans and A. pleuropneumoniae biofilms.

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