Influence of sialic acid and bacterial sialidase on differential adhesion of Pseudomonas aeruginosa to epithelial cells

Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces. 2006 Oct 1;52(2):154-6. doi: 10.1016/j.colsurfb.2006.04.013. Epub 2006 May 7.


Epithelial cell lines from several tissues show a differential sensitivity to Pseudomonas aeruginosa adherence. A549 (lung), HepG2 (liver) and Caco-2 (colon) cells presented an adhesion index of about 3, 1.5 and 5 CFU/cell, respectively, whereas Mz-Ch cell lines (gallbladder cholangiocytes) presented adhesion indexes up to 35. These variations could be associated with the variable amount of sialic acid in cell surface glycoconjugates. Moreover, the presence of free sialic acid in culture media induces the secretion by P. aeruginosa of a sialidase which is able to hydrolyze glycoconjugate-linked sialic acid. As shown with A549 cells, this specific hydrolysis increases bacterial adhesion, probably by unmasking new binding sites onto the cell surface.

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Adhesion / physiology*
  • Binding Sites
  • Caco-2 Cells
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Cell Membrane / microbiology
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism*
  • Epithelial Cells / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / metabolism
  • N-Acetylneuraminic Acid / metabolism*
  • Neuraminidase / metabolism*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / enzymology
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / pathogenicity
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / physiology*


  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Neuraminidase
  • N-Acetylneuraminic Acid