Caister Academic Press

CIMB Abstract

Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. (2012) 14: 47-70.
https://doi.org/10.21775/cimb.014.047

Global Regulatory Pathways and Cross-talk Control Pseudomonas aeruginosa Environmental Lifestyle and Virulence Phenotype

Kimberly A. Coggan and Matthew C. Wolfgang

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a metabolically versatile environmental bacterium and an opportunistic human pathogen that relies on numerous signaling pathways to sense, respond, and adapt to fluctuating environmental cues. Although the environmental signals sensed by these pathways are poorly understood, they are largely responsible for determining whether P. aeruginosa adopts a planktonic or sessile lifestyle. These environmental lifestyle extremes parallel the acute and chronic infection phenotypes observed in human disease. In this review, we focus on four major pathways (cAMP/Vfr and c-di-GMP signaling, quorum sensing, and the Gac/Rsm pathway) responsible for sensing and integrating external stimuli into coherent regulatory control at the transcriptional, translational, and post-translational level. A common theme among these pathways is the inverse control of factors involved in promoting motility and acute infection and those associated with biofilm formation and chronic infection. In many instances these regulatory pathways influence one another, forming a complex network allowing P. aeruginosa to assimilate numerous external signals into an integrated regulatory circuit that controls a lifestyle continuum.

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