The sensor kinase PhoQ mediates virulence in Pseudomonas aeruginosa

W. James Gooderham, Shaan L. Gellatly, François Sanschagrin, Joseph B. McPhee, Manjeet Bains, Celine Cosseau, Roger C. Levesque, Robert E.W. Hancock

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86 Citations (Scopus)


Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a ubiquitous environmental Gram-negative bacterium that is also a major opportunistic human pathogen in nosocomial infections and cystic fibrosis chronic lung infections. PhoP-PhoQ is a two-component regulatory system that has been identified as essential for virulence and cationic antimicrobial peptide resistance in several other Gram-negative bacteria. This study demonstrated that mutation of phoQ caused reduced twitching motility, biofilm formation and rapid attachment to surfaces, 2.2-fold reduced cytotoxicity to human lung epithelial cells, substantially reduced lettuce leaf virulence, and a major, 10 000-fold reduction in competitiveness in chronic rat lung infections. Microarray analysis revealed that PhoQ controlled the expression of many genes consistent with these phenotypes and with its known role in polymyxin B resistance. It was also demonstrated that PhoQ controls the expression of many genes outside the known PhoP regulon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)699-711
Number of pages13
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology

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