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Functional characterization of pfm in protein secretion and lung infection of Pseudomonas aeruginosa

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Lung infections caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients cause progressive airway obstruction and tissue damage, which is the predominant cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with CF. This paper describes the functional characterization of the pfm gene (open reading frame PA2950) of P. aeruginosa. Using DNA microarrays, we found that the transcriptional levels of type II secretory system genes were significantly reduced in the pfm mutant strain. The type-II-dependent exoprotein LasB could not be secreted normally. The pfm gene was identified as a gene involved in bacterial protein secretion that was critical for the extracellular release of elastase in P. aeruginosa. The abilities to induce lung injury by wild-type and pfm mutant P. aeruginosa were evaluated in a murine acute lung infection model. The results showed that the pathogenicity and virulence of the pfm mutant strain was significantly reduced compared with that of the wild-type strain. The pfm gene and its expression product, as potential new drug targets against P. aeruginosa infection, have important research significance.

Keywords: DNA microarray; LasB; infection pulmonaire; lung infection; puce d’ADN; secretion; sécrétion

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: College of Pharmacy and Tianjin Key Laboratory of Molecular Drug Research, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, People’s Republic of China. 2: Molecular Microbiology and Microbe Engineering, College of Life Sciences, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, People’s Republic of China.

Publication date: 2011-10-21

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  • Published since 1954, this monthly journal contains new research in the field of microbiology including applied microbiology and biotechnology; microbial structure and function; fungi and other eucaryotic protists; infection and immunity; microbial ecology; physiology, metabolism and enzymology; and virology, genetics, and molecular biology. It also publishes review articles and notes on an occasional basis, contributed by recognized scientists worldwide.
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