The staphylococcal exopolysaccharide PIA – Biosynthesis and role in biofilm formation, colonization, and infection.

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The staphylococcal exopolysaccharide PIA - Biosynthesis and role in biofilm formation, colonization, and infection.

Comput Struct Biotechnol J. 2020;18:3324-3334

Authors: Nguyen HTT, Nguyen TH, Otto M

Abstract
Exopolysaccharide is a key part of the extracellular matrix that contributes to important mechanisms of bacterial pathogenicity, most notably biofilm formation and immune evasion. In the human pathogens Staphylococcus aureus and S. epidermidis, as well as in many other staphylococcal species, the only exopolysaccharide is polysaccharide intercellular adhesin (PIA), a cationic, partially deacetylated homopolymer of N-acetylglucosamine, whose biosynthetic machinery is encoded in the ica locus. PIA production is strongly dependent on environmental conditions and controlled by many regulatory systems. PIA contributes significantly to staphylococcal biofilm formation and immune evasion mechanisms, such as resistance to antimicrobial peptides and ingestion and killing by phagocytes, and presence of the ica genes is associated with infectivity. Due to its role in pathogenesis, PIA has raised considerable interest as a potential vaccine component or target.

PMID: 33240473 [PubMed]