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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Feb 27;104(9):3526-31. Epub 2007 Feb 22.

A polyphosphate kinase 1 (ppk1) mutant of Pseudomonas aeruginosa exhibits multiple ultrastructural and functional defects.

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*Department of Biochemistry, Stanford University School of Medicine, 279 West Campus Drive, Stanford, CA 94305-5307.


Pseudomonas aeruginosa, of medical, environmental, and industrial importance, depends on inorganic polyphosphate (poly P) for a wide range of functions, especially survival. Mutants of PAO1 lacking poly P kinase 1, PPK1, the enzyme responsible for most poly P synthesis in Escherichia coli and other bacteria, are defective in motility, quorum sensing, biofilm formation, and virulence. We describe here multiple defects in the ppk1 mutant PAOM5, including a striking compaction of the nucleoid, distortion of the cell envelope, lack of planktonic motility and exopolymer production, and susceptibility to the beta-lactam antibiotic carbenicillin as well as desiccation. We propose that P. aeruginosa with reduced poly P levels undergoes ultrastructural changes that contribute to profound deficiencies in cellular functions.

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