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Role of Pseudomonas aeruginosa low-molecular-mass penicillin-binding proteins in AmpC expression, β-lactam resistance, and peptidoglycan structure

AuthorsRopy, Alaa ; Cabot, Gabriel; Sánchez-Diener, Irina; Aguilera, Cristina; Moya, Bartolomé; Ayala, Juan Alfonso ; Oliver, Antonio
Issue Date2015
PublisherAmerican Society for Microbiology
CitationAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 59(7): 3925-3934 (2015)
AbstractThis study aimed to characterize the role of Pseudomonas aeruginosa low-molecular-mass penicillin-binding proteins (LMM PBPs), namely, PBP4 (DacB), PBP5 (DacC), and PBP7 (PbpG), in peptidoglycan composition, β-lactam resistance, and ampC regulation. For this purpose, we constructed all single and multiple mutants of dacB, dacC, pbpG, and ampC from the wild-type P. aeruginosa PAO1 strain. Peptidoglycan composition was determined by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), ampC expression by reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR), PBP patterns by a Bocillin FL-binding test, and antimicrobial susceptibility by MIC testing for a panel of β-lactams. Microscopy and growth rate analyses revealed no apparent major morphological changes for any of the mutants compared to the wild-type PAO1 strain. Of the single mutants, only dacC mutation led to significantly increased pentapeptide levels, showing that PBP5 is the major DD-carboxypeptidase in P. aeruginosa. Moreover, our results indicate that PBP4 and PBP7 play a significant role as DD-carboxypeptidase only if PBP5 is absent, and their DD-endopeptidase activity is also inferred. As expected, the inactivation of PBP4 led to a significant increase in ampC expression (around 50-fold), but, remarkably, the sequential inactivation of the three LMM PBPs produced a much greater increase (1,000-fold), which correlated with peptidoglycan pentapeptide levels. Finally, the β-lactam susceptibility profiles of the LMM PBP mutants correlated well with the ampC expression data. However, the inactivation of ampC in these mutants also evidenced a role of LMM PBPs, especially PBP5, in intrinsic β-lactam resistance. In summary, in addition to assessing the effect of P. aeruginosa LMM PBPs on peptidoglycan structure for the first time, we obtained results that represent a step forward in understanding the impact of these PBPs on β-lactam resistance, apparently driven by the interplay between their roles in AmpC induction, β-lactam trapping, and DD-carboxypeptidase/β-lactamase activity.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1128/AAC.05150-14
issn: 1098-6596
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