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Microbiology. 2007 Nov;153(Pt 11):3838-51.

Strain-specific proteome responses of Pseudomonas aeruginosa to biofilm-associated growth and to calcium.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3, Canada.


Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen that forms biofilms on mucous plugs in the lungs of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients, resulting in chronic infections. Pulmonary P. aeruginosa isolates often display a mucoid (alginate-producing) phenotype, whereas non-mucoid strains are generally associated with acute infections. We characterized the cytosolic proteomes of biofilm-associated and planktonic forms of a CF pulmonary isolate, P. aeruginosa FRD1, and a non-mucoid strain, PAO1. Since Ca2+ metabolism is altered in CF pulmonary fluids, we also analysed the effect of Ca2+ on the proteome responses of these strains. Both strains altered the abundances of 40-60% of their proteins in response to biofilm growth and/or [Ca2+]. Differentially expressed proteins clustered into 12 groups, based on their abundance profiles. From these clusters, 146 proteins were identified by using MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spectrometry. Similarities as well as strain-specific differences were observed. Both strains altered the production of proteins involved in iron acquisition, pyocyanin biosynthesis, quinolone signalling and nitrogen metabolism, proteases, and proteins involved in oxidative and general stress responses. Individual proteins from these classes were highly represented in the biofilm proteomes of both strains. Strain-specific differences concerned the proteins within these functional groups, particularly for enzymes involved in iron acquisition and polysaccharide metabolism, and proteases. The results demonstrate that a mucoid CF isolate of P. aeruginosa responds to biofilm-associated growth and [Ca2+] in a fashion similar to strain PAO1, but that strain-specific differences may allow this CF isolate to successfully colonize the pulmonary environment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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