Presentation Type

Poster

Faculty Mentor’s Full Name

Laura K. Jennings

Faculty Mentor’s Department

Division of Biological Sciences

Abstract

Bacteriocins are multi-protein assemblies that bear striking resemblance to bacteriophage (virus) tails. Bacteriocins are an extracellular contractile injection system that kill closely related bacteria by puncturing their cell membrane. Mounting evidence suggests that besides interbacterial competition, bacteriocins also mediate interactions between bacteria and diverse eukaryotic hosts by assembling extracellular hexagonal-bacteriocin arrays composed of numerous bacteriocin particles. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic bacterial pathogen that produces bacteriocins called R2 pyocins which lyse susceptible bacteria. Based on homology to other contractile injection systems, we hypothesize that P. aeruginosa produces bacteriocin arrays that modulate host responses during infection. We have developed a method to quantify R2 pyocins utilizing the lysis of susceptible strains of P. aeruginosa. We are currently applying this quantification method to optimize the production and purification of pyocins to test in host-pathogen models. We have also generated a fluorescently labelled R2 pyocin for the detection of bacteriocin arrays using fluorescence microscopy. These experiments are essential to enable future evaluation of the effect of R2 pyocins on host pathogen interactions.

Category

Life Sciences

Alternative roles forPseudomonas aeruginosa bacteriocins .pdf (15792 kB)
Alternative roles for Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteriocins Poster

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Alternative roles for Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteriocins

Bacteriocins are multi-protein assemblies that bear striking resemblance to bacteriophage (virus) tails. Bacteriocins are an extracellular contractile injection system that kill closely related bacteria by puncturing their cell membrane. Mounting evidence suggests that besides interbacterial competition, bacteriocins also mediate interactions between bacteria and diverse eukaryotic hosts by assembling extracellular hexagonal-bacteriocin arrays composed of numerous bacteriocin particles. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic bacterial pathogen that produces bacteriocins called R2 pyocins which lyse susceptible bacteria. Based on homology to other contractile injection systems, we hypothesize that P. aeruginosa produces bacteriocin arrays that modulate host responses during infection. We have developed a method to quantify R2 pyocins utilizing the lysis of susceptible strains of P. aeruginosa. We are currently applying this quantification method to optimize the production and purification of pyocins to test in host-pathogen models. We have also generated a fluorescently labelled R2 pyocin for the detection of bacteriocin arrays using fluorescence microscopy. These experiments are essential to enable future evaluation of the effect of R2 pyocins on host pathogen interactions.