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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Pathogenesis of corneal infection: binding of Pseudomonas aeruginosa to specific phospholipids.

Clinical isolates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa were examined for binding interactions with phospholipids of corneal epithelium. Thin-layer chromatography (TLC) of lipids extracted from corneal epithelia followed by staining with an ammonium molybdate spray reagent revealed three phospholipid components, PL1, PL2, and PL3. The chromatographic mobility of PL1 was similar to that of the phospholipid standards phosphatidylinositol (PI) and phosphatidylserine (PS), which were not well resolved from one other; PL2 and PL3 comigrated with the standards phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine, respectively. By use of a TLC-bacterial overlay procedure, 35S-labeled P. aeruginosa organisms were shown to bind to PL1 but not to PL2 or PL3. P. aeruginosa binding to PL1 was concentration dependent. Alkaline methanolysis abolished the binding. PL1 was separated into two components, PL1-I and PL1-S, by chromatography on borate-treated TLC plates. Both PL1-I and PL1-S contained binding sites for P. aeruginosa. Mass spectral analysis identified PL1-I and PL1-S as PI and PS, respectively. Radiolabeled P. aeruginosa organisms were subsequently shown to bind to commercially available bovine PI and PS and synthetic dipalmitoyl-PS but not to other phospholipid standards, including bovine SM and PC or synthetic dioleoyl- and distearoyl-PC. A control Escherichia coli strain did not bind to either PS or PI. Tetramethylurea, a disrupter of hydrophobic associations, did not influence the binding of P. aeruginosa to PS or PI. P. aeruginosa bound to the monolayers of corneal epithelial cells. P. aeruginosa binding to the monolayer cultures as well as to rabbit corneas pretreated with exogenous PS and PI was significantly higher than that to those preincubated with PC or medium alone. The data suggest that phospholipids PS and PI present in mucus or on the cell surface may function as P. aeruginosa receptors and contribute to selective bacterium-host interactions responsible for initial colonization.[1]


  1. Pathogenesis of corneal infection: binding of Pseudomonas aeruginosa to specific phospholipids. Panjwani, N., Zhao, Z., Raizman, M.B., Jungalwala, F. Infect. Immun. (1996) [Pubmed]
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