publications of the junior research group nano infection biology [NIBI]
group leader: Dr. Sieben
Pseudomonas aeruginosa PA14 produces R-bodies, extendable protein polymers with roles in host colonization and virulence.R-bodies are long, extendable protein polymers formed in the cytoplasm of some bacteria; they are best known for their role in killing of paramecia by bacterial endosymbionts. Pseudomonas aeruginosa PA14, an opportunistic pathogen of diverse hosts, contains genes (referred to as the reb cluster) with potential to confer production of R-bodies and that have been implicated in virulence. Here, we show that products of the PA14 reb cluster associate with R-bodies and control stochastic expression of R-body structural genes. PA14 expresses reb genes during colonization of plant and nematode hosts, and R-body production is required for full virulence in nematodes. Analyses of nematode ribosome content and immune response indicate that P. aeruginosa R-bodies act via a mechanism involving ribosome cleavage and translational inhibition. Our observations provide insight into the biology of R-body production and its consequences during P. aeruginosa infection.