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Sci Rep. 2018 Nov 15;8(1):16912. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-35087-y.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa mutants defective in glucose uptake have pleiotropic phenotype and altered virulence in non-mammal infection models.

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Dipartimento di Bioscienze, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milano, Italy.
Istituto di Tecnologie Biomediche-CNR, Segrate, Italy.
Istituto Clinico Humanitas-CNR, Rozzano, Italy.
Dipartimento di Scienze, Università degli Studi Roma Tre, Roma, Italy.
Centre for Integrative Biology, Università degli Studi di Trento, Trento, Italy.
Dipartimento di Bioscienze, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milano, Italy.


Pseudomonas spp. are endowed with a complex pathway for glucose uptake that relies on multiple transporters. In this work we report the construction and characterization of Pseudomonas aeruginosa single and multiple mutants with unmarked deletions of genes encoding outer membrane (OM) and inner membrane (IM) proteins involved in glucose uptake. We found that a triple ΔgltKGF ΔgntP ΔkguT mutant lacking all known IM transporters (named GUN for Glucose Uptake Null) is unable to grow on glucose as unique carbon source. More than 500 genes controlling both metabolic functions and virulence traits show differential expression in GUN relative to the parental strain. Consistent with transcriptomic data, the GUN mutant displays a pleiotropic phenotype. Notably, the genome-wide transcriptional profile and most phenotypic traits differ between the GUN mutant and the wild type strain irrespective of the presence of glucose, suggesting that the investigated genes may have additional roles besides glucose transport. Finally, mutants carrying single or multiple deletions in the glucose uptake genes showed attenuated virulence relative to the wild type strain in Galleria mellonella, but not in Caenorhabditis elegans infection model, supporting the notion that metabolic functions may deeply impact P. aeruginosa adaptation to specific environments found inside the host.

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