RpoN Regulates Virulence Factors of Pseudomonas aeruginosa via Modulating the PqsR Quorum Sensing Regulator
Yam, Joey Kuok Hoong
Chew, Su Chuen
Chua, Song Lin
Date of Issue2015
School of Biological Sciences
Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering
Interdisciplinary Graduate School
The alternative sigma factor RpoN regulates many cell functions, such as motility, quorum sensing, and virulence in the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa). P. aeruginosa often evolves rpoN-negative variants during the chronic infection in cystic fibrosis patients. It is unclear how RpoN interacts with other regulatory mechanisms to control virulence of P. aeruginosa. In this study, we show that RpoN modulates the function of PqsR, a quorum sensing receptor regulating production of virulence factors including the phenazine pyocyanin. The ∆rpoN mutant is able to synthesize 4-quinolone signal molecule HHQ but unable to activate PqsR and Pseudomonas quinolone signal (pqs) quorum sensing. The ∆rpoN mutant produces minimal level of pyocyanin and is unable to produce the anti-staphylococcal agents. Providing pqsR in trans in the ∆rpoN mutant restores its pqs quorum sensing and virulence factor production to the wild-type level. Our study provides evidence that RpoN has a regulatory effect on P. aeruginosa virulence through modulating the function of the PqsR quorum sensing regulator.
International Journal of Molecular Sciences
© 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons by Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).