Genome-scale model of Pseudomonas aeruginosa metabolism unveils virulence and drug potentiation

Commun Biol. 2023 Feb 10;6(1):165. doi: 10.1038/s42003-023-04540-8.


Pseudomonas aeruginosa is one of the leading causes of hospital-acquired infections. To decipher the metabolic mechanisms associated with virulence and antibiotic resistance, we have developed an updated genome-scale model (GEM) of P. aeruginosa. The model (iSD1509) is an extensively curated, three-compartment, and mass-and-charge balanced BiGG model containing 1509 genes, the largest gene content for any P. aeruginosa GEM to date. It is the most accurate with prediction accuracies as high as 92.4% (gene essentiality) and 93.5% (substrate utilization). In iSD1509, we newly added a recently discovered pathway for ubiquinone-9 biosynthesis which is required for anaerobic growth. We used a modified iSD1509 to demonstrate the role of virulence factor (phenazines) in the pathogen survival within biofilm/oxygen-limited condition. Further, the model can mechanistically explain the overproduction of a drug susceptibility biomarker in the P. aeruginosa mutants. Finally, we use iSD1509 to demonstrate the drug potentiation by metabolite supplementation, and elucidate the mechanisms behind the phenotype, which agree with experimental results.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biofilms
  • Drug Synergism
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa* / genetics
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa* / metabolism
  • Virulence / genetics
  • Virulence Factors* / genetics
  • Virulence Factors* / metabolism


  • Virulence Factors