UCT CS Research Document Archive

Fluorescence and NMR spectroscopy together with molecular simulations reveal amphiphilic characteristics of a Burkholderia biofilm exopolysaccharide

Kuttel, Michelle M. , Paola Cescutti, M. Distefano and Roberto Rizzo (2017) Fluorescence and NMR spectroscopy together with molecular simulations reveal amphiphilic characteristics of a Burkholderia biofilm exopolysaccharide. Journal of Biological Chemistry 292(26):11034-11042.

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Abstract

Biofilms are a collective mode of bacterial life in which a selfproduced matrix confines cells in close proximity to each other. Biofilms confer many advantages, including protection from chemicals (including antibiotics), entrapment of useful extracellular enzymes and nutrients, as well as opportunities for efficient recycling of molecules from dead cells. Biofilm matrices are aqueous gel-like structures composed of polysaccharides, proteins, and DNA stabilized by intermolecular interactions that may include non-polar connections. Recently, polysaccharides extracted from biofilms produced by species of the Burkholderia cepacia complex were shown to possess clusters of rhamnose, a 6-deoxy sugar with non-polar characteristics. Molecular dynamics simulations are well suited to characterizing the structure and dynamics of polysaccharides, but only relatively few such studies exist of their interaction with non-polar molecules. Here we report an investigation into the hydrophobic properties of the exopolysaccharide produced by Burkholderia multivorans strain C1576. Fluorescence experiments with two hydrophobic fluorescent probes established that this polysaccharide complexes hydrophobic species, and NMR experiments confirmed these interactions. Molecular simulations to model the hydrodynamics of the polysaccharide and the interaction with guest species revealed a very flexible, amphiphilic carbohydrate chain that has frequent dynamic interactions with apolar molecules; both hexane and a long-chain fatty acid belonging to the quorum-sensing system of B. multivorans were tested. A possible role of the non-polar domains of the exopolysaccharide in facilitating the diffusion of aliphatic species toward specific targets within the biofilm aqueous matrix is proposed.

EPrint Type:Journal (Paginated)
Keywords:Molecular dynamics, molecular modelling, carbohydrates, bacteria, biofilms
Subjects:I Computing Methodologies: I.6 SIMULATION AND MODELING
ID Code:1211
Deposited By:Kuttel, Michelle
Deposited On:23 November 2017