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J Bacteriol. 2007 Mar;189(6):2203-9. Epub 2007 Jan 5.

Presence or absence of lipopolysaccharide O antigens affects type III secretion by Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Author information

1
Biology Department, California State University, San Francisco, CA 94142, USA.

Abstract

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is one of the major causative agents of mortality and morbidity in hospitalized patients due to a multiplicity of virulence factors associated with both chronic and acute infections. Acute P. aeruginosa infection is primarily mediated by planktonic bacteria expressing the type III secretion system (TTSS), a surface-attached needle-like complex that injects cytotoxins directly into eukaryotic cells, causing cellular damage. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is the principal surface-associated virulence factor of P. aeruginosa. This molecule is known to undergo structural modification (primarily alterations in the A- and B-band O antigen) in response to changes in the mode of life (e.g., from biofilm to planktonic). Given that LPS exhibits structural plasticity, we hypothesized that the presence of LPS lacking O antigen would facilitate eukaryotic intoxication and that a correlation between the LPS O-antigen serotype and TTSS-mediated cytotoxicity would exist. Therefore, strain PAO1 (A+ B+ O-antigen serotype) and isogenic mutants with specific O-antigen defects (A+ B-, A- B+, and A- B-) were examined for TTSS expression and cytotoxicity. A strong association existed in vitro between the absence of the large, structured B-band O antigen and increased cytotoxicity of these strains. In vivo, all three LPS mutant strains demonstrated significantly increased lung injury compared to PAO1. Clinical strains lacking the B-band O antigen also demonstrated increased TTSS secretion. These results suggest the existence of a cooperative association between LPS O-antigen structure and the TTSS in both laboratory and clinical isolates of P. aeruginosa.

PMID:
17209027
PMCID:
PMC1899375
DOI:
10.1128/JB.01839-06
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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