Extracytoplasmic function sigma factors in Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Biochim Biophys Acta Gene Regul Mech. 2019 Jul;1862(7):706-721. doi: 10.1016/j.bbagrm.2018.04.008. Epub 2018 May 2.


The opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa, like all members of the genus Pseudomonas, has the capacity to thrive in very different environments, ranging from water, plant roots, to animals, including humans to whom it can cause severe infections. This remarkable adaptability is reflected in the number of transcriptional regulators, including sigma factors in this bacterium. Among those, the 19 to 21 extracytoplasmic sigma factors (ECFσ) are endowed with different regulons and functions, including the iron starvation σ (PvdS, FpvI, HasI, FecI, FecI2 and others), the cell wall stress ECFσ AlgU, SigX and SbrI, and the unorthodox σVreI involved in the expression of virulence. Recently published data show that these ECFσ have separate regulons although presenting some cross-talk. We will present evidence that these different ECFσ are involved in the expression of different phenotypes, ranging from cell-wall stress response, production of extracellular polysaccharides, formation of biofilms, to iron acquisition.

Keywords: Biofilm formation; Cell wall stress response; ECFσ; Iron uptake; Pseudomonas aeruginosa; Virulence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Biofilms / growth & development
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
  • Polysaccharides, Bacterial / metabolism
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / physiology*
  • Sigma Factor / genetics*
  • Stress, Physiological


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Polysaccharides, Bacterial
  • Sigma Factor