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Sci Rep. 2018 Jun 29;8(1):9873. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-28042-4.

Reciprocal cross-species induction of outer membrane vesicle biogenesis via secreted factors.

Author information

1
Department of Biological Sciences, Binghamton University, Binghamton, New York, USA.
2
Binghamton Biofilm Research Center, Binghamton University, Binghamton, New York, USA.
3
Department of Biological Sciences, Binghamton University, Binghamton, New York, USA. jschertz@binghamton.edu.
4
Binghamton Biofilm Research Center, Binghamton University, Binghamton, New York, USA. jschertz@binghamton.edu.

Abstract

Delivery of cargo to target cells is fundamental to bacterial competitiveness. One important but poorly understood system, ubiquitous among Gram-negative organisms, involves packaging cargo into outer membrane vesicles (OMVs). These biological nanoparticles are involved in processes ranging from toxin delivery to cell-cell communication. Despite this, we know comparatively little about how OMVs are formed. Building upon the discovery that the Pseudomonas Quinolone Signal (PQS) stimulates OMV biogenesis in Pseudomonas aeruginosa, we proposed a model where PQS interacts with the outer membrane to induce curvature and ultimately OMV formation. Though this model is well supported in P. aeruginosa, it remained unclear whether other organisms produce similar compounds. Here we describe the development of a tightly controlled experimental system to test the interaction of bacterially-produced factors with target cells. Using this system, we show that multiple species respond to PQS by increasing OMV formation, that PQS accumulates in the induced vesicles, and that other bacteria secrete OMV-promoting factors. Analysis of induced vesicles indicates that recipient-mediated mechanisms exist to control vesicle size and that relatedness to the producer organism can dictate susceptibility to OMV-inducing compounds. This work provides evidence that small molecule induced OMV biogenesis is a widely conserved process and that cross-talk between systems may influence OMV production in neighboring bacteria.

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