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Resuscitation-promoting factors are required for Mycobacterium smegmatis biofilm formation

Ealand, C
Rimal, B
Chang, J
Mashigo, L
Chengalroyen, M
Mapela, L
Beukes, G
Machowski, E
Kim, S.J
Kana, B
Resuscitation-promoting factors (Rpfs) have previously been shown to act as growth-stimulatory molecules via their lysozyme-like activity on peptidoglycan in the bacterial cell wall. In this study, we investigated the ability of Mycobacterium smegmatis strains lacking rpf genes to form biofilms and tested their susceptibilities to cell wall-targeting agents. M. smegmatis contains four distinct rpf homologues, namely, MSMEG_5700 (rpfA), MSMEG_5439 (rpfB), MSMEG_4640 (rpfE2), and MSMEG_4643 (rpfE). During axenic growth of the wild-type strain, all four mRNA transcripts were expressed to various degrees, but the expression of MSMEG_4643 was significantly greater during exponential growth. Similarly, all rpf mRNA transcripts could be detected in biofilms grown for 7, 14, and 28 days, with MSMEG_4643 expressed at the highest abundance after 7 days. In-frame unmarked deletion mutants (single and combinatorial) were generated and displayed altered colony morphologies and the inability to form typical biofilms. Moreover, any strain lacking rpfA and rpfB simultaneously exhibited increased susceptibility to rifampin, vancomycin, and SDS. Exogenous Rpf supplementation in the form of culture filtrate failed to restore biofilm formation. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) analysis of peptidoglycan (PG) suggested a reduction in 4-3 cross-linked PG in the ΔrpfABEE2 mutant strain. In addition, the level of PG-repeat units terminating in 1,6-anhydroMurNAc appeared to be significantly reduced in the quadruple rpf mutant. Collectively, our data have shown that Rpfs play an important role in biofilm formation, possibly through alterations in PG cross-linking and the production of signaling molecules.
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Applied and Environmental Microbiology
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Resuscitation-promoting factors (Rpfs),Mycobacterium smegmatis,Bacteria,SDG-03 Good health and well-being
Ealand C , Rimal B, Chang J, Mashigo L, Chengalroyen M , Mapela L, Beukes G, Machowski E, Kim SJ, Kana B. Resuscitation promoting factors are required for biofilm formation in mycobacterium smegmatis. Applied and environmental microbiology. 2018 Jun 18. DOI: 10.1128/aem.00687-18
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