Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a ubiquitous environmental bacterium and an opportunistic pathogen that represents an important health hazard. The quorum-sensing response regulates the expression of several virulence factors and involves three regulons: Las, Rhl, and Pqs. The P. aeruginosa ATCC 9027 strain, which belongs to the genetically diverse PA7 clade, contains a frame-shift mutation in the pqsR gene that encodes a transcriptional activator necessary for pyocyanin (PYO) synthesis in type strains PAO1 and PA14. Here we characterize the PqsE-dependent production of PYO in strain ATCC 9027. We show that this strain expresses pqsE independently of PqsR and in the absence of quinolone production, and that PqsE promotes the RhlR-dependent production of PYO, yet this production is not strictly dependent on PqsE. In addition, we show that in both strains ATCC 9027 and PAO1, PqsE overexpression causes an increased concentration of RhlR and enhances PYO production but does not affect rhamnolipids (RL) production in the same way. These results suggest that PqsE interaction with RhlR preferentially modifies its ability to activate transcription of genes involved in PYO production and provide new evidence about PqsE-dependent RhlR activatio...Continue Reading
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