Acinetobacter baumannii is a nosocomial pathogen with the ability to naturally acquire foreign DNA from its environment. Horizontal gene transfer has contributed dramatically to the increasing trend of bacteria acquiring antibiotic resistant determinants. However, neither the mechanism by which this pathogen can naturally acquire DNA, nor the factors that may contribute to this event are known. Therefore, this project focused on understanding how natural transformation in this deadly pathogen occurs, focusing on the possible role of bacterial released peptides and proteinases in natural competence for natural transformation in A. baumannii. Additionally, the interactions of bacterial peptides and proteinases with human products was tested. Strains known to be naturally competent were utilized in this study. To test the role of released peptides and/or proteinases, specifically protein killing factor (PKF), a serine protease released by A. baumannii, and its interaction with human host products, such as human serum albumin (HSA), standard transformation assays were performed. Considering previous results from our lab, and aware that albumins increase transformation frequencies, we observed the frequency of transformation increases in the presence of albumins and decreases when proteinases, such as PKF, are in the immediate environment, hypothesizing that this proteinase could destroy HSA. Characterizing the potential role of bacterial proteinases, as well as their interactions with human products, expanded the current understanding of natural competence of a multidrug resistant nosocomial pathogen.
|Advisor:||Ramirez, Maria Soledad|
|Commitee:||Brennan, Catherine, Nikolaidis, Nikolas|
|School:||California State University, Fullerton|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 81/2(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Acinetobacter, Competence, Proteins, Transformation|
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