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01.01.2005 | Original Investigation | Ausgabe 1-2/2005

Medical Microbiology and Immunology 1-2/2005

Calcium and magnesium enhance the production of Pseudomonas aeruginosa protease IV, a corneal virulence factor

Zeitschrift:
Medical Microbiology and Immunology > Ausgabe 1-2/2005
Autoren:
Mary E. Marquart, Joseph J. Dajcs, Armando R. Caballero, Brett A. Thibodeaux, Richard J. O’Callaghan

Abstract

The effect of calcium and magnesium on protease IV production during the growth of Pseudomonas aeruginosa was investigated. Strain PA103 was grown to stationary phase in medium containing various concentrations of either calcium or magnesium. Culture supernatants were concentrated, standardized relative to cell density, and the pyoverdine concentrations were measured. Overall extracellular protease activity and specific protease IV (lysine endoproteinase) activity were measured with or without TLCK, a serine protease inhibitor effective against protease IV activity. Protease IV activity was also observed by casein zymography. Calcium and magnesium were quantified in the corneas and aqueous humor of rabbits that were inoculated intrastromally with strain PA103. Pyoverdine production was not significantly different in cultures grown in medium with added calcium or magnesium, but extracellular caseinase activity increased in these cultures. Susceptibility of caseinase activity to TLCK inhibition and a specific assay for protease IV indicated that protease IV activity increased in cultures grown in calcium or magnesium. Casein zymography supported the observation that protease IV activity increased in the cultures with added calcium and magnesium. Addition of calcium or magnesium to the protease IV-specific assay had no effect on the catalytic activity of pure protease IV. Infection of rabbit corneas with PA103 did not change the magnesium concentration in either corneas or aqueous humor, but significantly increased the concentration of calcium in corneas. These results indicate that calcium and magnesium enhance the production of protease IV, but not pyoverdine production. Calcium increases in the cornea following infection with P. aeruginosa could favor production of protease IV.

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