Autoinducer-2 triggers the oxidative stress response in Mycobacterium avium leading to biofilm formation
Cangelosi, Gerard A.
Behr, Marcel A.
Ford, Tim E.
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Mycobacterium avium is an environmental organism and opportunistic pathogen with inherent resistance to drugs, environmental stresses, and the host immune response. To adapt to these disparate conditions, M. avium must control its transcriptional response to environmental cues. M. avium forms biofilms in various environmental settings, including drinking water pipes and potable water reservoirs. In this study, we investigated the role of the universal signaling molecule autoinducer-2 (AI-2) in biofilm formation by M. avium. The addition of the compound to planktonic M. avium cultures resulted in increased biofilm formation. Microarray and reverse transcriptase PCR studies revealed an upregulation of the oxidative stress response upon addition of AI-2. This suggests that the response to AI-2 might be related to oxidative stress, rather than quorum sensing. Consistent with this model, addition of hydrogen peroxide, a known stimulus of the oxidative stress response, to M. avium cultures resulted in elevated biofilm formation. These results suggest that AI-2 does not act as a quorum-sensing signal in M. avium. Instead, biofilm formation is triggered by environmental stresses of biotic and abiotic origins and AI-2 may exert effects on that level.
Geier H, Mostowy S, Cangelosi GA, Behr MA, Ford TE, "Autoinducer-2 triggers the oxidative stress response in Mycobacterium avium leading to biofilm formation," Appl Environ Microbiol 2008 74(6):1798-1804