Individual Nudix hydrolases affect diverse features of Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Microbiologyopen. 2020 Aug;9(8):e1052. doi: 10.1002/mbo3.1052. Epub 2020 May 17.


Nudix proteins catalyze the hydrolysis of pyrophosphate bonds in a variety of substrates and are ubiquitous in all domains of life. The genome of an important opportunistic human pathogen, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, encodes multiple Nudix proteins. To determine the role of nine Nudix hydrolases of the P. aeruginosa PAO1161 strain in its fitness, virulence or antibiotic resistance mutants devoid of individual enzymes were constructed and analyzed for growth rate, motility, biofilm formation, pyocyanin production, and susceptibility to oxidative stress and different antibiotics. The potential effect on bacterial virulence was studied using the Caenorhabditis elegans-P. aeruginosa infection model. Of the nine mutants tested, five had an altered phenotype in comparison with the wild-type strain. The ΔPA3470, ΔPA3754, and ΔPA4400 mutants showed increased pyocyanin production, were more resistant to the β-lactam antibiotic piperacillin, and were more sensitive to killing by H2 O2 . In addition, ΔPA4400 and ΔPA5176 had impaired swarming motility and were less virulent for C. elegans. The ΔPA4841 had an increased sensitivity to oxidative stress. These changes were reversed by providing the respective nudix gene in trans indicating that the observed phenotype alterations were indeed due to the lack of the particular Nudix protein.

Keywords: Pseudomonas aeruginosa; Nudix mutants; motility; oxidative stress; pyocyanin; virulence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Antibiosis / genetics
  • Biofilms / growth & development
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / physiology
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial / genetics*
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Genome, Bacterial / genetics
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / pharmacology
  • Locomotion / genetics*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Oxidative Stress / genetics
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology
  • Plasmids / genetics
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / drug effects
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / enzymology
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / genetics*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / pathogenicity
  • Pyocyanine / biosynthesis
  • Pyrophosphatases / genetics*
  • Pyrophosphatases / metabolism
  • Virulence / genetics*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Pyocyanine
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Pyrophosphatases
  • nudix hydrolases