The PTS System and Vibrio Cholerae Biofilms: Analysis, Control, and Applications
Phosphoenolpyruvate-carbohydrate phosphotransferase system (PTS) is a highly conserved, multistep chemical process which uses phosphate transfer to regulate the intake and use of sugars and other carbohydrates by bacteria. In addition to controlling sugar uptake, the PTS regulates several bacterial cellular functions such as chemotaxis, glycogen metabolism, catabolite repression and biofilm formation. Regulation of biofilm formation by the PTS is complex, involving many different regulatory pathways that incorporate distinct PTS components. Our studies aim to investigate the synergistic role of enzymes II in the uptake of carbohydrates and the regulation of Vibrio biofilms. Additionally, our studies aim to identify and characterize small-molecule modulators of the bacterial PTS functions. Given the connection between PTS activity, biofilm formation, and virulence in Vibrio cholerae, we hypothesize that a thorough characterization of the bacterial PTS as well as the identification of novel biological targets will reveal new tools and approaches to regulate biofilm formation by interfering with microbial metabolic functions.