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Influence of csgD and ompR on nanomechanics, adhesion forces and curli properties of E. coli

Perni, Stefano, Preedy, Emily Callard, Landini, Paolo and Prokopovich, Polina ORCID: 2016. Influence of csgD and ompR on nanomechanics, adhesion forces and curli properties of E. coli. Langmuir 32 (31) , pp. 7965-7974. 10.1021/acs.langmuir.6b02342

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Curli are bacterial appendages involved in the adhesion of cells to surfaces; their synthesis is regulated by many genes such as: csgD and ompR. The expression of the two curli subunits (CsgA and CsgB) in Escherichia coli (E. coli) is regulated by CsgD, at the same time, csgD transcription is under the control of OmpR; therefore, both genes are involved in the control of curli production. In this work, we elucidated the role of these genes on the nanomechanical and adhesive properties of E. coli MG1655 (a lab strain not expressing significant amount of curli) and its curli producing mutants overexpressing OmpR and CsgD, employing Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM). Nanomechanical analysis revealed that the expression of these genes gave origin to cells with lower Young modulus (E) and turgidity (P0); whilst the adhesion forces were unaffected when genes involved in curli formation were expressed. AFM was also employed to study the primary structure of the curli expressed through the Freely Jointed Chain (FJC) model for polymers. CsgD increased the number of curli on the surface more than OmpR and the over-expression of both genes did not result in a greater number of curli. Neither of the two genes had an impact on the structure (total length of the polymer, number and length of Kuhn segments) of the curli. Our results further suggests that, despite the widely assumed role of curli in cell adhesion, cell adhesion force is dictated also by surface properties as no relation between number of curli expressed on the surface and cell adhesion was found.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Pharmacy
Subjects: R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
Publisher: American Chemical Society
ISSN: 0743-7463
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 26 July 2016
Date of Acceptance: 15 July 2016
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 01:04

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