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The role of small proteins in Burkholderia cenocepacia J2315 biofilm formation, persistence and intracellular growth.

ABSTRACT: Burkholderia cenocepacia infections are difficult to treat due to resistance, biofilm formation and persistence. B. cenocepacia strain J2315 has a large multi-replicon genome (8.06?Mb) and the function of a large fraction of (conserved) hypothetical genes remains elusive. The goal of the present study is to elucidate the role of small proteins in B. cenocepacia, focusing on genes smaller than 300 base pairs of which the function is unknown. Almost 10% (572) of the B. cenocepacia J2315 genes are smaller than 300 base pairs and more than half of these are annotated as coding for hypothetical proteins. For 234 of them no similarity could be found with non-hypothetical genes in other bacteria using BLAST. Using available RNA sequencing data obtained from biofilms, a list of 27 highly expressed B. cenocepacia J2315 genes coding for small proteins was compiled. For nine of them expression in biofilms was also confirmed using LC-MS based proteomics and/or expression was confirmed using eGFP translational fusions. Overexpression of two of these genes negatively impacted growth, whereas for four others overexpression led to an increase in biofilm biomass. Overexpression did not have an influence on the MIC for tobramycin, ciprofloxacin or meropenem but for five small protein encoding genes, overexpression had an effect on the number of persister cells in biofilms. While there were no significant differences in adherence to and invasion of A549 epithelial cells between the overexpression mutants and the WT, significant differences were observed in intracellular growth/survival. Finally, the small protein BCAM0271 was identified as an antitoxin belonging to a toxin-antitoxin module. The toxin was found to encode a tRNA acetylase that inhibits translation. In conclusion, our results confirm that small proteins are present in the genome of B. cenocepacia J2315 and indicate that they are involved in various biological processes, including biofilm formation, persistence and intracellular growth.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7798474 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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