May 31, 2014

Capsular polysaccharides cross-regulation modulates Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron biofilm formation

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Baohu JiJean-Marc Ghigo


Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron is one of the most abundant gut symbiont species, whose contribution to host health through its ability to degrade diet polysaccharides and mature the immune system is under untense scrutiny. By contrast, adhesion and biofilm formation, which are potentially involved in gut colonization, microbiota structure and stability, have hardly been investigated in this intestinal bacterium. To uncover B. thetaiotaomicron biofilm-related functions, we performed a transposon mutagenesis in the poor biofilm-forming reference strain VPI 5482 and showed that capsule 4, one of the eight B. thetaiotaomicron capsules, hinders biofilm formation. We then showed that the production of capsules 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 also inhibits biofilm formation and that decreased capsulation of the population correlated with increased biofilm formation, suggesting that capsules could be masking adhesive surface structures. We also showed that, by contrast, capsule 8 displayed intrinsic adhesive properties. Finally, we demonstrated that BT2934, the wzx homolog of B. thetaiotaomicron glycosylation locus, competes with capsule production and therefore impacts its adhesion capacity. This study identified regulation of capsular polysaccharides...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Chromosomes, Human, Pair 1
Cancer-Predisposing Gene
Mitochondrial Inheritance
Transcription, Genetic

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