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Pathog Dis. 2019 Feb 13. doi: 10.1093/femspd/ftz005. [Epub ahead of print]

Temporal proteomic profiling reveals changes that support Burkholderia biofilms.

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University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.
Laboratory of Immune System Biology (LISB), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD 20814, USA.
Melioidosis Research Center, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen 40002, Thailand.
Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand.
Department of Microbial Pathogenesis, University of Maryland School of Dentistry, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.


Melioidosis associated with opportunistic pathogen Burkholderia pseudomallei imparts a huge medical burden in Southeast Asia and Australia. At present there is no available human vaccine that protects against B. pseudomallei infection and antibiotic treatments are limited particularly for drug-resistant strains and bacteria in biofilm forms. Biofilm forming bacteria exhibit phenotypic features drastically different to their planktonic states, often exhibiting a diminished response to antimicrobial therapies. Our earlier work on global profiling of bacterial biofilms using transcriptomics and proteomics revealed transcript-decoupled protein abundance in bacterial biofilms. Here we employed reverse phase liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) to deduce temporal proteomic differences in planktonic and biofilm forms of Burkholderia thailandensis, which is weakly surrogate model of pathogenic B. pseudomallei as sharing a key element in genomic similarity. The proteomic analysis of Burkholderia thailandensis in biofilm versus planktonic states revealed that proteome changes support biofilm survival through decreased abundance of metabolic proteins while increased abundance of stress-related proteins. Interestingly, the protein abundance including the transcription protein TEX, outer periplasmic TolB protein, and the exopolyphosphatase reveal adaption in bacterial biofilms that facilitate antibiotic tolerance through a non-specific mechanism. The present proteomics study of Burkholderia thailandensis biofilms provides a global snapshot of protein abundance differences and antimicrobial sensitivities in planktonic and sessile bacteria.


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