Send to

Choose Destination
J Bacteriol. 1995 Jul;177(14):3998-4008.

Virulence factors are released from Pseudomonas aeruginosa in association with membrane vesicles during normal growth and exposure to gentamicin: a novel mechanism of enzyme secretion.

Author information

Department of Microbiology, College of Biological Science, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada.


Pseudomonas aeruginosa blebs-off membrane vesicles (MVs) into culture medium during normal growth. Release of these vesicles increased approximately threefold after exposure of the organism to four times the MIC of gentamicin. Natural and gentamicin-induced membrane vesicles (n-MVs and g-MVs and g-MVs, respectively) were isolated by filtration and differential centrifugation, and several of their biological activities were characterized. Electron microscopy of both n-MVs and g-MVs revealed that they were spherical bilayer MVs with a diameter of 50 to 150 nm. Immunoelectron microscopy and Western blot (immunoblot) analysis of the vesicles demonstrated the presence of B-band lipopolysaccharide (LPS), with a slightly higher proportion of B-band LPS in g-MVs than in n-MVs. A-band LPS was occasionally detected in g-MVs but not in n-MVs. In addition to LPS, several enzymes, such as phospholipase C, protease, hemolysin, and alkaline phosphatase, which are known to contribute to the pathogenicity of Pseudomonas infections were found to be present in both vesicle types. Both types of vesicles contained DNA, with a significantly higher content in g-MVs. These vesicles could thus play an important role in genetic transformation and disease by serving as a transport vehicle for DNA and virulence factors and are presumably involved in septic shock.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center