Infection by Burkholderia cenocepacia in immunocompromised individuals and people with cystic fibrosis has been correlated with poor patient prognosis. The increasing occurrence of B. cenocepacia in such individuals suggests that the effectiveness of antibiotics used to combat this human pathogen is on the decline. Gudrun Koch and colleagues from the university of Groningen, Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy, investigated the action of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa enzyme, PvdQ, as a possible alternative to antibiotics because of the enzyme’s ability to disrupt quorum sensing – a bacterial culture’s mechanism for coordinating infection.
The authors introduced two point mutations into PvdQ that altered the structure of the enzyme’s active site, changing its target substrate to C8-HSL, the primary quorum sensing inducer in Burkholderia species. The altered PvdQ enzyme reduced the concentration of C8-HSL in B. cenocepacia cultures 48.5-fold when added exogenously and also rescued a population of Galleria mellonella when the larvae were infected with B. cenocepacia that produced the mutant PvdQ. The authors demonstrate that an enzyme produced by bacteria that disrupts quorum sensing can be altered to target the quorum-sensing substrate of a different bacterial species, suggesting that the technique can be used as a potential antimicrobial approach that might lower the likelihood of antibiotic resistance. The engineered enzymes can also target specific bacterial species, according to the authors, thereby potentially reducing disruption of normal host microbiota.
For the full publication:
Reducing virulence of the human pathogen Burkholderia by altering the substrate specificity of the quorum-quenching acylase PvdQ.
By Gudrun Koch, Pol Nadal-Jimenez, Carlos R. Reis, Remco Muntendam, Marcel Bokhove, Elena Melillo, Bauke W. Dijkstra, Robbert H. Cool, and Wim J. Quax
As a part of the Jantina Tammes School, the 'Language and AI' theme is an interdisciplinary initiative that aims to encourage collaboration among academics, PhD candidates, students, and industry representatives who share a keen interest in the...
Prof. Moniek Tromp has been appointed Captain of Science of the Chemistry Top Sector by the Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy. As from 1 July 2023, she succeeded Prof. Bert Weckhuysen from Utrecht University.
Leonardo Arriagada Beltran conducted his PhD research on the interface of computer-generated art and the constantly evolving field of Artificial Intelligence (AI). He will defend his Phd thesis on 21 September. His research offers valuable insights...
The UG website uses functional and anonymous analytics cookies. Please answer the question of whether you want to accept
or reject other cookies (such as tracking cookies).
If no choice is made, only basic cookies will be stored. More information