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J Bacteriol. 2005 Dec;187(23):8114-26.

Characterization of temporal protein production in Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Binghamton University, NY 13902, USA.


Phenotypic and genetic evidence supporting the notion of biofilm formation as a developmental process is growing. In the present work, we provide additional support for this hypothesis by identifying the onset of accumulation of biofilm-stage specific proteins during Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm maturation and by tracking the abundance of these proteins in planktonic and three biofilm developmental stages. The onset of protein production was found to correlate with the progression of biofilms in developmental stages. Protein identification revealed that proteins with similar function grouped within similar protein abundance patterns. Metabolic and housekeeping proteins were found to group within a pattern separate from virulence, antibiotic resistance, and quorum-sensing-related proteins. The latter were produced in a progressive manner, indicating that attendant features that are characteristic of biofilms such as antibiotic resistance and virulence may be part of the biofilm developmental process. Mutations in genes for selected proteins from several protein production patterns were made, and the impact of these mutations on biofilm development was evaluated. The proteins cytochrome c oxidase, a probable chemotaxis transducer, a two-component response regulator, and MexH were produced only in mature and late-stage biofilms. Mutations in the genes encoding these proteins did not confer defects in growth, initial attachment, early biofilm formation, or twitching motility but were observed to arrest biofilm development at the stage of cell cluster formation we call the maturation-1 stage. The results indicated that expression of theses genes was required for the progression of biofilms into three-dimensional structures on abiotic surfaces and the completion of the biofilm developmental cycle. Reverse transcription-PCR analysis confirmed the detectable change in expression of the respective genes ccoO, PA4101, and PA4208. We propose a possible mechanism for the role of these biofilm-specific proteins in biofilm formation.

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