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Electrophoresis. 2003 Feb;24(4):740-50.

Analysis of the quorum-sensing regulon of the opportunistic pathogen Burkholderia cepacia H111 by proteomics.

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Department of Microbiology, Technical Univerisity of Munich, Am Hochanger 4, D-85350 Freising, Germany.


Burkholderia cepacia H111, an important pathogen for persons suffering from cystic fibrosis, employs a quorum-sensing (QS) system, cep, to control expression of virulence factors as well as the formation of biofilms. The QS system is thought to ensure that pathogenic traits are only expressed when the bacterial population density is high enough to overwhelm the host before it is able to mount an efficient response. In this study, we compared the protein pattern of the intracellular, extracellular, and surface protein fractions of an AHL-deficient cepI mutant with the one of the parent strain H111 by means of two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE). Our analysis showed that 55 proteins out of 985 detected spots were differentially expressed; these are expected to represent QS-controlled gene products. Addition of the respective signal molecules to the growth medium of the cep mutant fully restored the wild-type protein expression profile. In total about 5% of the B. cepacia proteome was downregulated and 1% upregulated in the cepI mutant, indicating that quorum sensing represents a global regulatory system. Nineteen proteins were identified with high confidence by N-terminal sequence analysis.

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