Role of alkyl hydroperoxide reductase (AhpC) in the biofilm formation of Campylobacter jejuni

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Biofilm formation of Campylobacter jejuni, a major cause of human gastroenteritis, contributes to the survival of this pathogenic bacterium in different environmental niches; however, molecular mechanisms for its biofilm formation have not been fully understood yet. In this study, the role of oxidative stress resistance in biofilm formation was investigated using mutants defective in catalase (KatA), superoxide dismutase (SodB), and alkyl hydroperoxide reductase (AhpC). Biofilm formation was substantially increased in an ahpC mutant compared to the wild type, and katA and sodB mutants. In contrast to the augmented biofilm formation of the ahpC mutant, a strain overexpressing ahpC exhibited reduced biofilm formation. A perR mutant and a CosR-overexpression strain, both of which upregulate ahpC, also displayed decreased biofilms. However, the introduction of the ahpC mutation to the perR mutant and the CosR-overexpression strain substantially enhanced biofilm formation. The ahpC mutant accumulated more total reactive oxygen species and lipid hydroperoxides than the wild type, and the treatment of the ahpC mutant with antioxidants reduced biofilm formation to the wild-type level. Confocal microscopy analysis showed more microcolonies were developed in the ahpC mutant than the wild type. These results successfully demonstrate that AhpC plays an important role in the biofilm formation of C. jejuni.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere87312
JournalPloS one
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 31 2014
Externally publishedYes


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