Kinetics of Growth and Biofilm Formation of Vibrio Cholerae in Presence of Potential PTS Modulating Chemical Compounds
Mahtab Waseem, Patrick Ymele-Leki
Department of Chemical Engineering, Howard University, Washington DC
Phosphoenolpyruvate-carbohydrate phosphotransferase system (PTS) is a multistep chemical process which regulates the intake and use of carbohydrates by bacteria. Bacteria growing through the use of nutrients, such as sugars, may form biofilms. Biofilms are multi-layered communities of bacterial cells that grow attached to one another. In addition to controlling sugar uptake by bacteria, the PTS regulates several cellular functions such as chemotaxis, glycogen metabolism, catabolite repression and the aforementioned biofilm formation.
Using a chemical screen, this study identified small molecule compounds that promote the production of Vibrio cholerae biofilms. V. cholerae MO10 served as model organism. It was grown in the absence of chemical compounds as a negative control, while an altered strain lacking PTS activity served as a positive control. Growth kinetics was evaluated in absorbance-based microplate assays, and quantitative biofilm assays were performed in borosilicate glass tubes. All assays were monitored by spectrophotometry. Biofilm induction was confirmed by monitoring the growth of V. cholerae in the presence or absence of chemical compounds. Further assays are underway to elucidate the mechanism through which candidate compounds affect the formation of biofilms. These assays will determine whether or not biofilm induction occurs through interactions with the bacterial PTS.
Success of this project will result in the identification and characterization of chemical agents that regulate biofilm formation by modulating activity of the bacterial PTS. This may lead to the development of novel microbial control strategies with applications in biological, medical, and pharmaceutical sciences.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): This study was supported by a grant from NSF (Research Initiation Award #1505301) awarded to Patrick Ymele-Leki PhD, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering, Howard University, Washington, DC 20059.