Influence of autoinducer 2 (ai-2) and ai-2-like inhibitors generated from ground beef on escherichia coli o157:h7 protein expression
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Autoinducer 2 (AI-2) molecules produced by bacterial cells are thought to be involved in controlling a variety of bacterial cellular processes by coordinated gene and protein expression. Previous work in our laboratory has shown that ground beef contains compounds that can interfere with AI-2-mediated bioluminescence expression in Vibrio. harveyi. The underlying hypothesis of this work was that AI-2 molecules affect the protein expression in Escherichia coli O157:H7 and AI-2 inhibitory molecules negate the influence of AI-2 molecules. The main objectives of this study were to identify, characterize, and isolate the factors responsible for inhibition of AI-2 molecules from ground beef extracts, elucidate the role of LuxS/AI-2 cell signaling system in E. coli O157:H7 protein expression, and determine if inhibitory factors present in ground beef extract can negate the influence of AI-2 molecules on the protein expression. Using a solvent extraction procedure and gas chromatography analysis, AI-2 inhibitory factors present in ground beef extracts were identified as both medium and long chain fatty acids. When identified fatty acids were tested at different concentrations for AI-2 inhibition, AI-2 inhibition ranging from 25% to 90% was observed. Both ground beef extracts and mixture of selected fatty acids also resulted in 2- to 4-fold reduced AI-2 influenced biofilm formation by E. coli K12 cells. Identification of LuxS/AI-2-mediated protein expression in E. coli O157:H7 was conducted using two dimensional gel electrophoresis. Protein expression analysis showed that the LuxS/AI-2 system modulates the expression of proteins involved in different cellular processes such as carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism, stress response, and formation of flagella and motility. When AI-2 inhibitory factors were added along with AI-2 molecules, the expression patterns of three AI-2-influenced proteins (GlmS, SpeE, and NikA) were changed suggesting that AI-2 inhibitors can negate the influence of AI-2 molecules on protein expression of selected proteins. Collectively, these results highlight that proteins associated with different cellular processes in E. coli O157:H7 can be modulated depending on whether cells are in contact with AI-2 molecules in the presence or absence of AI-2 inhibitory factors.
Soni, Kamleshkumar A. (2008). Influence of autoinducer 2 (ai-2) and ai-2-like inhibitors generated from ground beef on escherichia coli o157:h7 protein expression. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from