A novel regulator modulates glucan production, cell aggregation and biofilm formation in Streptococcus sanguinis SK36.
Frontiers in Microbiology
Streptococcus sanguinis is an early colonizer of tooth surfaces and a key player in plaque biofilm development. However, the mechanism of biofilm formation of S. sanguinis is still unclear. Here, we showed that deletion of a transcription factor, brpL, promotes cell aggregation and biofilm formation in S. sanguinis SK36. Glucan, a polysaccharide synthesized from sucrose, was over-produced and aggregated in the biofilm of ΔbrpL, which was necessary for better biofilm formation ability of ΔbrpL. Quantitative RT-PCR demonstrated that gtfP was significantly up-regulated in ΔbrpL, which increased the productions of water-insoluble and water-soluble glucans. The ΔbrpLΔgtfP double mutant decreased biofilm formation ability of ΔbrpL to a level similar like that of ΔgtfP. Interestingly, the biofilm of ΔbrpL had an increased tolerance to ampicillin treatment, which might be due to better biofilm formation ability through the mechanisms of cellular and glucan aggregation. RNA sequencing and quantitative RT-PCR revealed the modulation of a group of genes in ΔbrpL was mediated by activating the expression of ciaR, another gtfP-related biofilm formation regulator. Double deletion of brpL and ciaR decreased biofilm formation ability to the phenotype of a ΔciaRmutant. Additionally, RNA sequencing elucidated a broad range of genes, related to carbohydrate metabolism and uptake, were activated in ΔbrpL. SSA_0222, a gene involved in the phosphotransferase system, was dramatically up-regulated in ΔbrpL and essential for S. sanguinissurvival under our experimental conditions. In summary, brpL modulates glucan production, cell aggregation and biofilm formation by regulating the expression of ciaR in S. sanguinis SK36.