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Nat Commun. 2016 Apr 14;7:11220. doi: 10.1038/ncomms11220.

Explosive cell lysis as a mechanism for the biogenesis of bacterial membrane vesicles and biofilms.

Author information

1
The ithree institute, University of Technology Sydney, Ultimo, New South Wales 2007, Australia.
2
Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8572, Japan.
3
Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of Zurich, Zürich 8008, Switzerland.
4
Department of Biology, Institute of Molecular Systems Biology, ETH Zurich, Zürich 8093, Switzerland.
5
Agroscope, Institute for Plant Production Sciences, Research Group Molecular Diagnostics, Genomics and Bioinformatics, &Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics (SIB), Wädenswil 8820, Switzerland.

Abstract

Many bacteria produce extracellular and surface-associated components such as membrane vesicles (MVs), extracellular DNA and moonlighting cytosolic proteins for which the biogenesis and export pathways are not fully understood. Here we show that the explosive cell lysis of a sub-population of cells accounts for the liberation of cytosolic content in Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms. Super-resolution microscopy reveals that explosive cell lysis also produces shattered membrane fragments that rapidly form MVs. A prophage endolysin encoded within the R- and F-pyocin gene cluster is essential for explosive cell lysis. Endolysin-deficient mutants are defective in MV production and biofilm development, consistent with a crucial role in the biogenesis of MVs and liberation of extracellular DNA and other biofilm matrix components. Our findings reveal that explosive cell lysis, mediated through the activity of a cryptic prophage endolysin, acts as a mechanism for the production of bacterial MVs.

Comment in

PMID:
27075392
PMCID:
PMC4834629
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms11220
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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