The Pseudomonas aeruginosa secretory product pyocyanin inactivates alpha1 protease inhibitor: implications for the pathogenesis of cystic fibrosis lung disease. (1/140)

Alpha1 Protease inhibitor (alpha1PI) modulates serine protease activity in the lung. Reactive oxygen species inactivate alpha1PI, and this process has been implicated in the pathogenesis of a variety of forms of lung injury. An imbalance of protease-antiprotease activity is also detected in the airways of patients with cystic fibrosis-associated lung disease who are infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa. P. aeruginosa secretes pyocyanin, which, through its ability to redox cycle, induces cells to generate reactive oxygen species. We tested the hypothesis that redox cycling of pyocyanin could lead to inactivation of alpha1PI. When alpha1PI was exposed to NADH and pyocyanin, a combination that results in superoxide production, alpha1PI lost its ability to form an inhibitory complex with both porcine pancreatic elastase (PPE) and trypsin. Similarly, addition of pyocyanin to cultures of human airway epithelial cells to which alpha1PI was also added resulted in a loss of the ability of alpha1PI to form a complex with PPE or trypsin. Neither superoxide dismutase, catalase, nor dimethylthiourea nor depletion of the media of O2 to prevent formation of reactive oxygen species blocked pyocyanin-mediated inactivation of alpha1PI. These data raise the possibility that a direct interaction between reduced pyocyanin and alpha1PI is involved in the process. Consistent with this possibility, pretreatment of alpha1PI with the reducing agent beta-mercaptoethanol also inhibited binding of trypsin to alpha1PI. These data suggest that pyocyanin could contribute to lung injury in the P. aeruginosa-infected airway of cystic fibrosis patients by decreasing the ability of alpha1PI to control the local activity of serine proteases.  (+info)

Pseudomonas aeruginosa pyocyanin and 1-hydroxyphenazine inhibit fungal growth. (2/140)

AIM: To examine strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa for specific antifungal factors. METHODS: Two clinical strains of P aeruginosa with strong in vitro inhibition (by cross streak assay) of Candida albicans and Aspergillus fumigatus were examined. Both strains were isolated from sputum--one from a patient with cystic fibrosis and one from a patient with bronchiectasis. Bacterial extracts were fractionated by high performance liquid chromatography and examined by ultraviolet absorbance and mass spectroscopy. Antifungal activity against C albicans and A fumigatus was determined in a well plate assay. RESULTS: Pyocyanin was the major antifungal agent of P aeruginosa; 1-hydroxy-phenazine also possessed activity. Pyocyanin MICs for C albicans and A fumigatus were > 64 micrograms/ml. These phenazines were active against nine other yeast species pathogenic for man. Preliminary experiments also suggested possible inhibition of yeast mycelial transformation in C albicans by pyocyanin. CONCLUSIONS: There may be a role for pyocyanin and 1-hydroxyphenazine in the prevention of pulmonary candidiasis in patients colonised by P aeruginosa.  (+info)

Regulation of quorum sensing by RpoS in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. (3/140)

The LasR-LasI and RhlR-RhlI quorum-sensing systems are global regulators of gene expression in the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Previous studies suggest that the RhlR-RhlI system activates expression of rpoS. We constructed merodiploid strains of P. aeruginosa containing the native rpoS gene and an rpoS-lacZ fusion. Studies of lacZ transcription in these strains indicated that rpoS was not regulated by RhlR-RhlI. We also generated an rpoS null mutant. This rpoS mutant showed elevated levels of rhlI (but not rhlR) transcription, elevated levels of the RhlI-generated acylhomoserine lactone quorum-sensing signal, and elevated levels of RhlR-RhlI-regulated gene transcription. These findings indicate that there is a relationship between RpoS and quorum sensing, but rather than the RhlR-RhlI system influencing the expression of rpoS, it appears that RpoS regulates rhlI.  (+info)

Biosynthesis of phenazine pigments in mutant and wild-type cultures of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. (4/140)

Pigmentation mutants of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, selected by observed visual differences in coloration from the wild-type strain, were examined for altered patterns of phenazine synthesis. Three classes of mutants that were incapable of pyocyanine production were identified. Pigmentation patterns that were found to characterize the various mutant classes implicated precursor-product relationships, and a biochemical scheme covering the terminal reactions of pyocyanine biosynthesis is proposed. Among compounds tested as inhibitors of pigmentation, two effectively inhibited pyocyanine production production while allowing cell growth. p-Aminobenzoate inhibited total pigmentation; i.e., no other phenazine accumulated. m-Aminobenzoate inhibited a presumptive methylation step in pyocyanine biosynthesis, abolishing the formation of pyocyanine and aeruginosin pigments but increasing the yields of phenazine 1-carboxylic acid and oxychlororaphin. D-[2,3,4,5(n)-14C]shikimate was most efficiently incorporated into phenazines in the middle to late exponential phase of growth. Label was incorporated predominantly into pyocyanine in the absence of inhibitors and into phenazine 1-carboxylic acid when the organism was grown in the presence of m-aminobenzoate.  (+info)

Initiation of biofilm formation by Pseudomonas aeruginosa 57RP correlates with emergence of hyperpiliated and highly adherent phenotypic variants deficient in swimming, swarming, and twitching motilities. (5/140)

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a ubiquitous environmental bacterium capable of forming biofilms on surfaces as a survival strategy. It exhibits a large variety of competition/virulence factors, such as three types of motilities: flagellum-mediated swimming, flagellum-mediated swarming, and type IV pilus-mediated twitching. A strategy frequently used by bacteria to survive changing environmental conditions is to create a phenotypically heterogeneous population by a mechanism called phase variation. In this report, we describe the characterization of phenotypic variants forming small, rough colonies that spontaneously emerged when P. aeruginosa 57RP was cultivated as a biofilm or in static liquid cultures. These small-colony (S) variants produced abundant type IV fimbriae, displayed defective swimming, swarming, and twitching motilities, and were impaired in chemotaxis. They also autoaggregated in liquid cultures and rapidly initiated the formation of strongly adherent biofilms. In contrast, the large-colony variant (parent form) was poorly adherent, homogeneously dispersed in liquid cultures, and produced scant polar fimbriae. Further analysis of the S variants demonstrated differences in a variety of other phenotypic traits, including increased production of pyocyanin and pyoverdine and reduced elastase activity. Under appropriate growth conditions, cells of each phenotype switched to the other phenotype at a fairly high frequency. We conclude that these S variants resulted from phase variation and were selectively enriched when P. aeruginosa 57RP was grown as a biofilm or in static liquid cultures. We propose that phase variation ensures the prior presence of phenotypic forms well adapted to initiate the formation of a biofilm as soon as environmental conditions are favorable.  (+info)

Functional analysis of genes for biosynthesis of pyocyanin and phenazine-1-carboxamide from Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1. (6/140)

Two seven-gene phenazine biosynthetic loci were cloned from Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1. The operons, designated phzA1B1C1D1E1F1G1 and phzA2B2C2D2E2F2G2, are homologous to previously studied phenazine biosynthetic operons from Pseudomonas fluorescens and Pseudomonas aureofaciens. Functional studies of phenazine-nonproducing strains of fluorescent pseudomonads indicated that each of the biosynthetic operons from P. aeruginosa is sufficient for production of a single compound, phenazine-1-carboxylic acid (PCA). Subsequent conversion of PCA to pyocyanin is mediated in P. aeruginosa by two novel phenazine-modifying genes, phzM and phzS, which encode putative phenazine-specific methyltransferase and flavin-containing monooxygenase, respectively. Expression of phzS alone in Escherichia coli or in enzymes, pyocyanin-nonproducing P. fluorescens resulted in conversion of PCA to 1-hydroxyphenazine. P. aeruginosa with insertionally inactivated phzM or phzS developed pyocyanin-deficient phenotypes. A third phenazine-modifying gene, phzH, which has a homologue in Pseudomonas chlororaphis, also was identified and was shown to control synthesis of phenazine-1-carboxamide from PCA in P. aeruginosa PAO1. Our results suggest that there is a complex pyocyanin biosynthetic pathway in P. aeruginosa consisting of two core loci responsible for synthesis of PCA and three additional genes encoding unique enzymes involved in the conversion of PCA to pyocyanin, 1-hydroxyphenazine, and phenazine-1-carboxamide.  (+info)

The global posttranscriptional regulator RsmA modulates production of virulence determinants and N-acylhomoserine lactones in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. (7/140)

Posttranscriptional control is known to contribute to the regulation of secondary metabolism and virulence determinants in certain gram-negative bacteria. Here we report the isolation of a Pseudomonas aeruginosa gene which encodes a global translational regulatory protein, RsmA (regulator of secondary metabolites). Overexpression of rsmA resulted in a substantial reduction in the levels of extracellular products, including protease, elastase, and staphylolytic (LasA protease) activity as well as the PA-IL lectin, hydrogen cyanide (HCN), and the phenazine pigment pyocyanin. While inactivation of rsmA in P. aeruginosa had only minor effects on the extracellular enzymes and the PA-IL lectin, the production of HCN and pyocyanin was enhanced during the exponential phase. The influence of RsmA on N-acylhomoserine lactone-mediated quorum sensing was determined by assaying the levels of N-(3-oxododecanoyl)homoserine lactone (3-oxo-C12-HSL) and N-butanoylhomoserine lactone (C4-HSL) produced by the rsmA mutant and the rsmA-overexpressing strain. RsmA exerted a negative effect on the synthesis of both 3-oxo-C12-HSL and C4-HSL, which was confirmed by using lasI and rhlI translational fusions. These data also highlighted the temporal expression control of the lasI gene, which was induced much earlier and to a higher level during the exponential growth phase in an rsmA mutant. To investigate whether RsmA modulates HCN production solely via quorum-sensing control, hcn translational fusions were employed to monitor the regulation of the cyanide biosynthesis genes (hcnABC). RsmA was shown to exert an additional negative effect on cyanogenesis posttranscriptionally by acting on a region surrounding the hcnA ribosome-binding site. This suggests that, in P. aeruginosa, RsmA functions as a pleiotropic posttranscriptional regulator of secondary metabolites directly and also indirectly by modulating the quorum-sensing circuitry.  (+info)

Light-mediated changes in pigmentation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa cultures. (8/140)

Cultures of Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO grown under uninterrupted broad-spectrum light showed different pigmentation from dark-grown cultures. Whereas dark-grown bacteria produced pigments which resulted in blue-purple coloured agar, light-grown organisms produced red coloured plates. Extraction and quantification of pigments showed that both dark- and light-grown cultures produced similar concentrations of pyorubrin (red) and pyoverdin (yellow). In contrast, the concentration of pyocyanin (blue) was substantially reduced under certain lighting conditions. This decrease was dependent on both the light intensity and wavelength and occurred with light in the ultraviolet and violet region of the spectrum. After its release from bacteria, pyocyanin was rapidly and nonreversibly photoinactivated with first-order kinetics to produce colourless photoproduct(s).  (+info)