Natriuretic peptides affect Pseudomonas aeruginosa and specifically modify lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis

FEBS J. 2007 Nov;274(22):5852-64. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-4658.2007.06109.x. Epub 2007 Oct 18.


Natriuretic peptides of various forms are present in animals and plants, and display structural similarities to cyclic antibacterial peptides. Pretreatment of Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 with brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) or C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP) increases bacterium-induced glial cell necrosis. In eukaryotes, natriuretic peptides act through receptors coupled to cyclases. We observed that stable analogs of cAMP (dibutyryl cAMP) and cGMP (8-bromo-cGMP) mimicked the effect of brain natriuretic peptide and CNP on bacteria. Further evidence for the involvement of bacterial cyclases in the regulation of P. aeruginosa PAO1 cytotoxicity by natriuretic peptides is provided by the observed doubling of intrabacterial cAMP concentration after exposure to CNP. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) extracted from P. aeruginosa PAO1 treated with both dibutyryl cAMP and 8-bromo-cGMP induces higher levels of necrosis than LPS extracted from untreated bacteria. Capillary electrophoresis and MALDI-TOF MS analysis have shown that differences in LPS toxicity are due to specific differences in the structure of the macromolecule. Using a strain deleted in the vfr gene, we showed that the Vfr protein is essential for the effect of natriuretic peptides on P. aeruginosa PAO1 virulence. These data support the hypothesis that P. aeruginosa has a cyclic nucleotide-dependent natriuretic peptide sensor system that may affect virulence by activating the expression of Vfr and LPS biosynthesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Cyclic AMP / metabolism
  • Cyclic GMP / metabolism
  • Electrophoresis, Capillary
  • Lipopolysaccharides / biosynthesis*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Natriuretic Peptides / pharmacology*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / drug effects*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization


  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Natriuretic Peptides
  • Cyclic AMP
  • Cyclic GMP