Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic human pathogen, which presents a serious threat to patients with impaired immunity, burn victims and in intense care units. The high pathogenic efficiency of P. aeruginosa resides, to large extent, in its ability to survive in hostile environment. Chromatin structure is a major factor that governs bacterial adaptation to environmental changes and thereby increases fitness of bacteria. Its role in mediating infection is still poorly understood. This proposal focuses on the P. aeruginosa condensins, which control the global folding of its chromosome. In contrast to archetypal laboratory strains, P. aeruginosa encodes several specialized condensins which appear to be differentially expressed during cell growth. We plan to investigate the hypothesis that the presence of specialized condensins increases fitness of P. aeruginosa. To this end, we intend to characterize the activity of the P. aeruginosa condensins and delineate their roles in chromosome maintenance under various growth conditions. The underlying idea here is that each condensin is optimized to act under its own set of conditions, and combining their efforts helps P. aeruginosa to survive a broad range of stresses. These data will help us better understand the mechanisms of chromatin maintenance in pathogenic and environmental bacteria and their role in establishing high fitness and persistence of bacterial pathogens.

Public Health Relevance

This proposal explores the role of a novel genetic factor that appears to contribute to high fitness and persistence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Understanding the mechanism of this link might suggest novel ways to control recalcitrant bacterial infections caused by this pathogen.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Type
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
Project #
5R21AI094124-02
Application #
8291194
Study Section
Prokaryotic Cell and Molecular Biology Study Section (PCMB)
Program Officer
Taylor, Christopher E,
Project Start
2011-07-01
Project End
2014-06-30
Budget Start
2012-07-01
Budget End
2014-06-30
Support Year
2
Fiscal Year
2012
Total Cost
$225,000
Indirect Cost
$75,000
Name
University of Oklahoma Norman
Department
Chemistry
Type
Schools of Arts and Sciences
DUNS #
848348348
City
Norman
State
OK
Country
United States
Zip Code
73019
Rybenkov, Valentin V (2014) Maintenance of chromosome structure in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. FEMS Microbiol Lett 356:154-65
Petrushenko, Zoya M; She, Weifeng; Rybenkov, Valentin V (2011) A new family of bacterial condensins. Mol Microbiol 81:881-96