Membrane vesicle formation is associated with pyocin production under denitrifying conditions in Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1



Many Gram-negative bacteria produce membrane vesicles (MVs) that serve as vehicles to mediate intraspecies and interspecies interactions. Despite their ubiquity in Gram-negative bacteria and their biological importance, how MV formation is regulated is poorly understood. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a ubiquitous bacterium that is one of the most extensively studied model organism in MVs. Recent studies highlight the importance of a quorum-sensing signal, Pseudomonas quinolone signal (PQS), in the formation of MVs; however, PQS synthesis requires oxygen and is not produced under anoxic conditions. This situation leads to the question of MV production under anoxic conditions. Here, we examined whether MVs are produced under denitrifying conditions and what kind of factors are involved in the MV production under such condition. Under denitrifying condition, P. aeruginosa PAO1 produced a considerable amount of MVs. Interestingly, pyocin components were found to be accumulated in the isolated MVs. Pyocin-related protein mutants produced less MVs compared with the wild type. We further indicate that pyocin production is activated by nitric oxide, in which the SOS response is involved. This study presents a regulatory mechanism where pyocin is associated with MV production, and further implies how the environment impacts MV production in P. aeruginosa.