Discovery of an operon that participates in agmatine metabolism and regulates biofilm formation in Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Bryan J. Williams, Rui Hong Du, M. Wade Calcutt, Rasul Abdolrasulnia, Brian W. Christman, Timothy S. Blackwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Agmatine is the decarboxylation product of arginine and a number of bacteria have devoted enzymatic pathways for its metabolism. Pseudomonas aeruginosa harbours the aguBA operon that metabolizes agmatine to putrescine, which can be subsequently converted into other polyamines or shunted into the TCA cycle for energy production. We discovered an alternate agmatine operon in the P. aeruginosa strain PA14 named agu2ABCA′ that contains two genes for agmatine deiminases (agu2A and agu2A′). This operon was found to be present in 25% of clinical P. aeruginosa isolates. Agu2A′ contains a twin-arginine translocation signal at its N-terminus and site-directed mutagenesis and cell fractionation experiments confirmed this protein is secreted to the periplasm. Analysis of the agu2ABCA′ promoter demonstrates that agmatine induces expression of the operon during the stationary phase of growth and during biofilm growth and agu2ABCA′ provides only weak complementation of aguBA, which is induced during log phase. Biofilm assays of mutants of all three agmatine deiminase genes in PA14 revealed that deletion of agu2ABCA′, specifically its secreted product Agu2A′, reduces biofilm production of PA14 following addition of exogenous agmatine. Together, these findings reveal a novel role for the agu2ABCA′ operon in the biofilm development of P. aeruginosa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-119
Number of pages16
JournalMolecular Microbiology
Volume76
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2010

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