Laura Álvarez-Fraga ,Soraya Rumbo-Feal ,Astrid Pérez,Manuel J. Gómez,Carmen Gayoso,Juan A. Vallejo,Emily J. Ohneck,Jaione Valle,Luis A. Actis,Alejandro Beceiro,Germán Bou ,Margarita Poza. 2017. Global assessment of small RNAs reveals a non-coding transcript involved in biofilm formation and attachment in Acinetobacter baumannii ATCC 17978. Plos One, 12, 8, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0182084
Many strains of Acinetobacter baumannii have been described as being able to form biofilm. Small non-coding RNAs (sRNAs) control gene expression in many regulatory circuits in bacteria. The aim of the present work was to provide a global description of the sRNAs produced both by planktonic and biofilm-associated (sessile) cells of A. baumannii ATCC 17978, and to compare the corresponding gene expression profiles to identify sRNAs molecules associated to biofilm formation and virulence. sRNA was extracted from both planktonic and sessile cells and reverse transcribed. cDNA was subjected to 454-pyrosequencing using the GS-FLX Titanium chemistry. The global analysis of the small RNA transcriptome revealed different sRNA expression patterns in planktonic and biofilm associated cells, with some of the transcripts only expressed or repressed in sessile bacteria. A total of 255 sRNAs were detected, with 185 of them differentially expressed in the different types of cells. A total of 9 sRNAs were expressed only in biofilm cells, while the expression of other 21 coding regions were repressed only in biofilm cells. Strikingly, the expression level of the sRNA 13573 was 120 times higher in biofilms than in planktonic cells, an observation that prompted us to further investigate the biological role of this non-coding transcript. Analyses of an isogenic mutant and over-expressing strains revealed that the sRNA 13573 gene is involved in biofilm formation and attachment to A549 human alveolar epithelial cells. The present work serves as a basis for future studies examining the complex regulatory network that regulate biofilm biogenesis and attachment to eukaryotic cells in A. baumannii ATCC 17978.