Second messenger signaling governs Escherichia coli biofilm induction upon ribosomal stress

Boehm, Alex and Steiner, Samuel and Zaehringer, Franziska and Casanova, Alain and Hamburger, Fabienne and Ritz, Daniel and Keck, Wolfgang and Ackermann, Martin and Schirmer, Tilman and Jenal, Urs. (2009) Second messenger signaling governs Escherichia coli biofilm induction upon ribosomal stress. Molecular microbiology, Vol. 72, H. 6. pp. 1500-1516.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5258533

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Biofilms are communities of surface attached, matrix embedded microbial cells that can resist antimicrobial chemotherapy and contribute to persistent infections. Using an Escherichia coli biofilm model we found that exposure of bacteria to subinhibitory concentrations of ribosome-targeting antibiotics leads to strong biofilm induction. We present evidence that this effect is elicited by the ribosome in response to translational stress. Biofilm induction involves upregulation of the polysaccharide adhesin poly-beta-1,6-N-acetyl-glucosamine (poly-GlcNAc) and two components of the poly-GlcNAc biosynthesis machinery, PgaA and PgaD. Poly-GlcNAc control depends on the bacterial signaling molecules guanosine-bis 3', 5'(diphosphate) (ppGpp) and bis-(3'-5')-cyclic di-GMP (c-di-GMP). Treatment with translation inhibitors causes a ppGpp-hydrolase (SpoT)-mediated reduction of ppGpp levels, resulting in specific derepression of PgaA. Maximal induction of PgaD and poly-GlcNAc synthesis requires the production of c-di-GMP by the dedicated diguanylate cyclase YdeH. Our results identify a novel regulatory mechanism that relies on ppGpp signaling to relay information about ribosomal performance to the Pga machinery, thereby inducing adhesin production and biofilm formation. Based on the important synergistic roles of ppGpp and c-di-GMP in this process, we suggest that interference with bacterial second messenger signaling might represent an effective means for biofilm control during chronic infections.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Biozentrum > Structural Biology & Biophysics > Structural Biology (Schirmer)
05 Faculty of Science > Departement Biozentrum > Infection Biology > Molecular Microbiology (Jenal)
05 Faculty of Science > Departement Biozentrum > Growth & Development > Molecular Microbiology (Jenal)
UniBasel Contributors:Schirmer, Tilman and Jenal, Urs
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:07 Aug 2015 12:05
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 13:20

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