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J Proteome Res. 2014 Jun 6;13(6):2973-85. doi: 10.1021/pr500120c. Epub 2014 May 8.

Quantitative NMR metabolite profiling of methicillin-resistant and methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus discriminates between biofilm and planktonic phenotypes.

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The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, ‡Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, and §The Center for Biofilm Engineering, Montana State University , Bozeman, Montana 59717, United States.


Wound bioburden in the form of colonizing biofilms is a major contributor to nonhealing wounds. Staphylococcus aureus is a Gram-positive, facultative anaerobe commonly found in chronic wounds; however, much remains unknown about the basic physiology of this opportunistic pathogen, especially with regard to the biofilm phenotype. Transcriptomic and proteomic analysis of S. aureus biofilms have suggested that S. aureus biofilms exhibit an altered metabolic state relative to the planktonic phenotype. Herein, comparisons of extracellular and intracellular metabolite profiles detected by (1)H NMR were conducted for methicillin-resistant (MRSA) and methicillin-susceptible (MSSA) S. aureus strains grown as biofilm and planktonic cultures. Principal component analysis distinguished the biofilm phenotype from the planktonic phenotype, and factor loadings analysis identified metabolites that contributed to the statistical separation of the biofilm from the planktonic phenotype, suggesting that key features distinguishing biofilm from planktonic growth include selective amino acid uptake, lipid catabolism, butanediol fermentation, and a shift in metabolism from energy production to assembly of cell-wall components and matrix deposition. These metabolite profiles provide a basis for the development of metabolite biomarkers that distinguish between biofilm and planktonic phenotypes in S. aureus and have the potential for improved diagnostic and therapeutic use in chronic wounds.

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