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Role of Heat Shock Proteases in Quorum-Sensing-Mediated Regulation of Biofilm Formation by Vibrio Species

 Kyung-Jo Lee  ;  You-Chul Jung  ;  Soon-Jung Park  ;  Kyu-Ho Lee 
 MBIO, Vol.9(1) : 42, 2018 
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ClpPA ; Lon ; Vibrio species ; quorum-sensing master regulators
Capsular polysaccharide (CPS) is essential for the dispersal of biofilms formed by the pathogenic bacterium Vibrio vulnificus CPS production is induced by the quorum-sensing (QS) master regulator SmcR when biofilms mature. However, V. vulnificus biofilms formed under heat shock conditions did not exhibit the dispersion stage. Transcripts of the CPS gene cluster were at basal levels in the heat-exposed cell owing to reduced cellular levels of SmcR. At least two proteases induced by heat shock, ClpPA and Lon, were responsible for determining the instability of SmcR. In vitro and in vivo assays demonstrated that SmcR levels were regulated via proteolysis by these proteases, with preferential proteolysis of monomeric SmcR. Thus, CPS production was not induced by QS when bacteria were heat treated. Further studies performed with other Vibrio species demonstrated that high temperature deactivated the QS circuits by increased proteolysis of their QS master regulators, thus resulting in alterations to the QS-regulated phenotypes, including biofilm formation.IMPORTANCE The term "quorum-sensing mechanism" is used to describe diverse bacterial cell density-dependent activities that are achieved by sensing of the signaling molecules and subsequent signal transduction to the master regulators. These well-known bacterial regulatory systems regulate the expression of diverse virulence factors and the construction of biofilms in pathogenic bacteria. There have been numerous studies designed to control bacterial quorum sensing by using small molecules to antagonize the quorum-sensing regulatory components or to interfere with the signaling molecules. In the present study, we showed that the quorum-sensing regulatory circuits of pathogenic Vibrio species were deactivated by heat shock treatment via highly increased proteolysis of the master transcription factors. Our results showed a new mode of quorum deactivation which can be achieved under conditions of high but nonlethal temperature even if the ambient signaling molecules may reach the levels representing high cell density.
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1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Environmental Medical Biology (환경의생물학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Park, Soon Jung(박순정) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0423-1944
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