Prof. Sun Baolin and Prof. Cai Gang published an article in International Journal of Medical Microbiology

  • [2017-04-17]
  • 2017.03.27, Prof. Sun Baolin and Prof. Cai Gang published an article entitled “AI-2 quorum sensing negatively regulates rbf expression and biofilm formation in Staphylococcus aureus” in International Journal of Medical Microbiology.

    Author: Ronghua Ma, Shuwan Qiu, Qiu Jiang, Haipeng Sun, Ting Xue, Gang Cai, Baolin Sun
    Abstract:Staphylococcus aureus is an important pathogen that is capable of forming biofilms on biomaterial surfaces to cause biofilm-associated infections. Autoinducer 2 (AI-2), a universal language for interspecies communication, is involved in a variety of physiological activities, although its exact role in Gram-positive bacteria, especially in S. aureus, is not yet thoroughly characterized. Herein we demonstrate that inactivation of luxS, which encodes AI-2 synthase, resulted in increased biofilm formation and higher polysaccharide intercellular adhesion (PIA) production compared with the wild-type strain in S. aureus NCTC8325. The transcript level of rbf, a positive regulator of biofilm formation, was significantly increased in the luxS mutant. All of the parental phenotypes could be restored by genetic complementation and chemically synthesized 4,5-dihydroxy-2,3-pentanedione, the AI-2 precursor molecule,  suggesting that AI-2 has a signaling function to regulate rbf transcription and biofilm formation in S. aureus. Furthermore, phenotypic analysis revealed that the luxS rbf double mutant produced approximately the same amount of biofilms and PIA as the rbf mutant. In addition, real-time RT-PCR analysis showed that the icaA transcript level of the rbf mutant was similar to that of the luxS rbf double mutant. These findings demonstrate that the LuxS/AI-2 system regulates PIA-dependent biofilm formation via repression of rbf expression in S. aureus. In addition, we demonstrated that Rbf could bind to the sarX and rbf promoters to upregulate their expression.
    Key words: Staphylococcus aureus, AI-2 quorum sensing, Rbf, biofilm formation

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