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- UTILIZING BACTERIAL INTERACTIONS TO CONTROL PATHOGENIC BIOFILM FORMATION
- Fang, Kuili
Many chronic infections involve bacterial biofilms, which are difficult to eliminate using conventional antibiotic treatments. Biofilm...
Show moreMany chronic infections involve bacterial biofilms, which are difficult to eliminate using conventional antibiotic treatments. Biofilm formation is a result of dynamic intra- or inter-species interactions. However, the nature of molecular interactions between bacteria in multi-species biofilms are not well understood compared to those in mono-species biofilms. The first project (Chapter 3) investigated the ability of probiotic Escherichia coli Nissle 1917 (EcN) to outcompete the biofilm formation of pathogens including enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC), Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, and S. epidermidis. When dual-species biofilms were formed, EcN inhibited the EHEC biofilm population by 14-fold compared to EHEC mono-species biofilms. This figure was 1,100-fold for S. aureus and 8,300-fold for S. epidermidis; however, EcN did not inhibit P. aeruginosa biofilms. In contrast, commensal E. coli did not exhibit any inhibitory effect toward other bacterial biofilms. We identified that EcN secretes DegP, a bifunctional (protease and chaperone) periplasmic protein, outside the cells and controls other biofilms. Although three E. coli strains tested in this study expressed degP, only the EcN strain secreted DegP outside the cells. The deletion of degP disabled the activity of EcN in inhibiting EHEC biofilms, and purified DegP directly repressed EHEC biofilm formation. Hence, probiotic E. coli outcompetes pathogenic biofilms via extracellular DegP activity during dual-species biofilm formation. Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7 (EHEC) is a pathogen causing the outbreaks of hemorrhagic colitis. Conventional antibiotics treatment is not recommended for EHEC infection as antibiotics trigger Shiga toxin production of EHEC and aggravate hemolytic-uremic syndrome. EHEC biofilm formation is closely associated with its virulence expression. Previously, we identified that probiotic E. coli Nissle 1917 (EcN) secretes DegP resulting in the inhibition of EHEC biofilm formation in a dual culture. DegP is a serine protease exhibiting both proteolytic and chaperone functions and binds to outer membrane proteins (OMPs) of target cells. However, the extracellular function of DegP is not clear. We hypothesized that binding of DegP to OMPs of EHEC might inhibit EHEC biofilm formation by affecting the adhesion ability or changing biofilm-related gene regulations of EHEC. We constructed EHEC mutants lacking ompA, ompC, or ompF individually and in combination and assessed their biofilm formation in the presence of DegP-secreting EcN in the co-culture or by adding purified DegP. It was found that both ompA and ompC double deletion decreased EHEC single species biofilm, and also caused that DegP inhibited more EHEC biofilm (about 25 fold inhibition) than DegP inhibited EHEC wt biofilm (about 10 fold), indicating that OmpA and OmpC are more related to EHEC biofilm than OmpF, and OmpA and OmpC might deplete DegP inhibitory functions. On the other hand, DegP S210A, a DegP mutant lacking protease function, inhibited EHEC wt biofilm, indicating that DegP’s biofilm inhibition function is not from its protease activity. Additionally, EHEC transcription profiles in the presence of DegP showed that DegP up-regulated expressions of cellulose production related genes (csgD and bcsA) and motility related genes (flhD, qseB), which were all involved in EHEC biofilm inhibition, and down-regulated Shiga toxin 2 virulence gene (stx2). Besdies, DegP promoted EHEC cellulose production and motility, which is consistent with transcription profile, and Shiga toxin 2 production will be further tested. This study reveals a new function of DegP secreted by EcN in controlling biofilms and leads us to develop an alternative strategy to control biofilm-related infections. Foodborne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes biofilm formation renders these cells highly resistant to current sanitation methods, and probiotics may be a promising approach to the efficient inhibition of Listeria biofilms. In the Chapter 5 study, three Leuconostoc mesenteroides strains of lactic acid bacteria isolated from kimchi were shown to be effective probiotics for inhibiting Listeria biofilm formation. Biofilms of two L. monocytogenes serotypes, 1/2a (ATCC15313) and 4b (ATCC19115), in dual-species culture with each probiotic strain were decreased by more than 40-fold as compared with single-species Listeria biofilms; for instance, a reduction from 5.4 times 10^6 CFU/cm2 L. monocytogenes ATCC19115 in single-species biofilms to 1.1 times 10^5 CFU/cm2 in dual-species biofilms. Most likely, one of the Leuconostoc strains, L. mesenteroides W51, led to the highest Listeria biofilm inhibition without affecting the growth of L. monocytogenes. The cell-free supernatant from the L. mesenteroides W51 culture containing large protein molecules (> 30 kDa) also inhibited Listeria biofilms. These data indicate that Leuconostoc probiotics can be used to repress L. monocytogenes biofilm contamination on surfaces at food processing facilities.
- Controlling biofilms using synthetic biology approaches
- Fang, Kuili, Park, Oh-Jin, Hong, Seok Hoon
Bacterial biofilms are formed by the complex but ordered regulation of intra- or inter-cellular communication, environmentally responsive gene...
Show moreBacterial biofilms are formed by the complex but ordered regulation of intra- or inter-cellular communication, environmentally responsive gene expression, and secretion of extracellular polymeric substances. Given the robust nature of bio?lms due to the non-growing nature of bio?lm bacteria and the physical barrier provided by the extracellular matrix, eradicating bio?lms is a very di?cult task to accomplish with conventional antibiotic or disinfectant treatments. Synthetic biology holds substantial promise for controlling bio?lms by improving and expanding existing biological tools, introducing novel functions to the system, and re-conceptualizing gene regulation. This review summarizes synthetic biology approaches used to eradicate bio?lms via protein engineering of bio?lm-related enzymes, utilization of synthetic genetic circuits, and the development of functional living agents. Synthetic biology also enables bene?cial applications of bio?lms through the production of biomaterials and patterning bio?lms with speci?c temporal and spatial structures. Advances in synthetic biology will add novel bio?lm functionalities for future therapeutic, biomanufacturing, and environmental applications.
Sponsorship: NIH-R15AI130988, NSF CBET-1917130