Identification of a predicted trimeric autotransporter adhesin required for biofilm formation of Burkholderia pseudomallei.
journal contributionposted on 20.07.2015, 08:55 by Natalie R. Lazar Adler, R. E. Dean, R. J. Saint, M. P. Stevens, J. L. Prior, T. P. Atkins, Edouard E. Galyov
The autotransporters are a large and diverse family of bacterial secreted and outer membrane proteins, which are present in many Gram-negative bacterial pathogens and play a role in numerous environmental and virulence-associated interactions. As part of a larger systematic study on the autotransporters of Burkholderia pseudomallei, the causative agent of the severe tropical disease melioidosis, we have constructed an insertion mutant in the bpss1439 gene encoding an unstudied predicted trimeric autotransporter adhesin. The bpss1439 mutant demonstrated a significant reduction in biofilm formation at 48 hours in comparison to its parent 10276 wild-type strain. This phenotype was complemented to wild-type levels by the introduction of a full-length copy of the bpss1439 gene in trans. Examination of the wild-type and bpss1439 mutant strains under biofilm-inducing conditions by microscopy after 48 hours confirmed that the bpss1439 mutant produced less biofilm compared to wild-type. Additionally, it was observed that this phenotype was due to low levels of bacterial adhesion to the abiotic surface as well as reduced microcolony formation. In a murine melioidosis model, the bpss1439 mutant strain demonstrated a moderate attenuation for virulence compared to the wild-type strain. This attenuation was abrogated by in trans complementation, suggesting that bpss1439 plays a subtle role in the pathogenesis of B. pseudomallei. Taken together, these studies indicate that BPSS1439 is a novel predicted autotransporter involved in biofilm formation of B. pseudomallei; hence, this factor was named BbfA, Burkholderia biofilm factor A.