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Genes Cells. 2013 Aug;18(8):682-93. doi: 10.1111/gtc.12076. Epub 2013 Jul 15.

Pleiotropic effects of acyltransferases on various virulence-related phenotypes of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

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Laboratory of Microbiology, Department of Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, Pusan National University, Research Building 537, San 30, Jangjun-Dong, Geumjung-Gu, Busan 609-735, South Korea.


Pseudomonas aeruginosa, an opportunistic pathogen causing various infections, expresses various virulence factors under the control of quorum sensing (QS), a cell density-sensing mechanism. Because the major signal molecules of QS are acyl homoserine lactones (acyl-HSLs), acyltransferases, the enzymes that act upon acyl group transfer could affect the QS signaling and QS-related virulence phenotypes. In this study, we overexpressed acyltransferases of P. aeruginosa and screened them for the activity influencing the QS and QS-related virulence phenotypes. Among seven acyltransferases tested in this study, two acyltransferases, PA3984 (apolipoprotein N-acyltransferase) and PA2537 (putative acyltransferase), significantly affected both growth of P. aeruginosa and the activity of LasR, a major QS regulator, when overexpressed. These acyltransferases also reduced virulence and swarming motility of P. aeruginosa. The other acyltransferase, PA3646 (UDP-3-O-[3-hydroxylauroyl] glucosamine N-acyltransferase), reduced the LasR activity, swarming motility, protease production and virulence without any influence on growth. These effects by PA3646 over-expression were caused by less production of QS signal. PA3644 (UDP-N-acetylglucosamine acyltransferase) enhanced biofilm formation and swarming motility with no effect on the growth and QS activity. These results suggest that acyltransferases may be an important factor regulating the cellular activity about virulence-related phenotypes.

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