A putative sugar-binding transcriptional regulator in a novel gene locus in Enterococcus faecalis contributes to production of biofilm and prolonged bacteremia in mice

J Infect Dis. 2004 Feb 1;189(3):420-30. doi: 10.1086/381150. Epub 2004 Jan 20.


A biofilm-negative transposon mutant was created from an Enterococcus faecalis strain that produces a lot of biofilm. The transposon had been inserted in the second gene of a locus consisting of 4 open-reading frames, designated bop (biofilm on plastic surfaces). A nonpolar deletion of this gene and of parts of the 2 flanking genes was created; production of biofilm by this deletion mutant was significantly enhanced, compared with that by the wild-type strain. Expression of a downstream gene was significantly lower in the transposon mutant than in the wild-type strain and the biofilm-enhanced deletion mutant. Transformation of this gene into the transposon mutant partially restored production of biofilm. Mice challenged by intravenous injection with the biofilm-negative mutant strain showed significantly reduced numbers of colony-forming units in the blood, compared with mice challenged with the biofilm-enhanced deletion mutant and the wild-type. These results indicate that bop is involved in production of biofilm and probably regulates expression of biofilm in the E. faecalis strain tested.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacteremia / microbiology*
  • Biofilms / growth & development
  • Carbohydrate Metabolism
  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Enterococcus faecalis / genetics*
  • Enterococcus faecalis / pathogenicity
  • Genes, Regulator*
  • Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections / microbiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mutation
  • Open Reading Frames
  • Virulence / genetics


  • DNA Transposable Elements