Construction and characterization of chromosomal insertional mutations of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa exoenzyme S trans-regulatory locus

D. W. Frank, G. Nair, H. P. Schweizer

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Exoenzyme S is an ADP-ribosyltransferase produced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Synthesis of exoenzyme S depends on an intact trans-regulatory locus encoding three protein products, ExsC, ExsB, and ExsA. To identify the phenotype of ExsC, -B, and -A mutants in exoenzyme S production, specific insertional mutations with the streptomycin resistance-encoding Ω interposon were introduced into cloned DNA and returned to the chromosomes of P. aeruginosa PA103, PAO1, and PAK. Southern blot analysis was used to confirm insertion of Ω and resolution of vector sequences. Exoenzyme S expression was measured in parental and mutant derivatives by Western blot (immunoblot) analysis and ADP-ribosyltransferase activity measurement. A complete set of mutations were obtained in strains PAK and PAO1, but in strain PA103, only an insertion in the exsA coding region was identified. Southern blot analysis demonstrated that extensive duplication and rearrangement of the PA103 chromosomal trans-regulatory locus occurred when exsC::Ω or exsB::Ω recombination events were attempted. Exoenzyme S antigen was not detectable in the supernatant or lysate fractions of mutant strains by Western blot analysis. ADP-ribosyltransferase activity was detected in the lysate but not in the supernatant fractions of mutant derivatives. The general secretion pathway appeared to function normally in mutant strains, as elastase, exotoxin A, and phospholipase C were measured in the supernatants of parental and mutant strains. Several differences were noted when the extracellular protein profiles of parental strains were compared with similar samples from the insertional mutant strains. Some of these differences appeared to be unrelated to exoenzyme S. These data suggest that insertional inactivation of the exoenzyme S trans-regulatory locus may affect a subset of other extracellular proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)554-563
Number of pages10
JournalInfection and Immunity
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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