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Cell. 2012 Apr 27;149(3):684-92. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2012.02.055.

A self-produced trigger for biofilm disassembly that targets exopolysaccharide.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.

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  • Cell. 2015 May 7;161(4):946.

Abstract

Biofilms are structured communities of bacteria that are held together by an extracellular matrix consisting of protein and exopolysaccharide. Biofilms often have a limited lifespan, disassembling as nutrients become exhausted and waste products accumulate. D-amino acids were previously identified as a self-produced factor that mediates biofilm disassembly by causing the release of the protein component of the matrix in Bacillus subtilis. Here we report that B. subtilis produces an additional biofilm-disassembly factor, norspermidine. Dynamic light scattering and scanning electron microscopy experiments indicated that norspermidine interacts directly and specifically with exopolysaccharide. D-amino acids and norspermidine acted together to break down existing biofilms and mutants blocked in the production of both factors formed long-lived biofilms. Norspermidine, but not closely related polyamines, prevented biofilm formation by B. subtilis, Escherichia coli, and Staphylococcus aureus.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID:
22541437
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3526955
Free PMC Article
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