Role of Burkholderia cenocepacia afcE and afcF genes in determining lipid-metabolism-associated phenotypes

Sujatha Subramoni, Kirsty Agnoli, Leo Eberl, Shawn Lewenza, Pamela A. Sokol

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Burkholderia cenocepacia is an opportunistic pathogen that primarily infects cystic fibrosis patients. Previously we have reported that mutations in shvR, a LysR-type transcriptional regulator, and ShvR-regulated genes BCAS0208 and BCAS0201 (designated afcE and afcF, respectively) affect colony morphotype, biofilm and pellicle formation and virulence in B. cenocepacia. In this study we investigated the role of afcE and afcF in influencing lipidmetabolism-associated phenotypes. As previously reported for K56-2ΔshvR, the D2afcE and afcF::lux mutants had no antifungal activity against Fusarium and Rhizoctonia solani, suggesting that these genes are involved in synthesis of a membrane-associated antifungal lipopeptide. Strains Δ2afcE and afcF::lux had reduced swarming motility and altered cell membrane morphology, both of which were restored to wild-type levels upon providing these genes in trans. Both K56-2ΔshvR and Δ2afcE showed increased uptake of the hydrophobic fluorescent probe N-phenylnaphthylamine (NPN), indicating altered outer membrane properties. Total lipid profiles determined by TLC revealed distinct differences in cellular lipid compositions of K56-2ΔshvR, Δ2afcE and afcF:: lux compared with K56-2. Taken together, these results indicate that afcE and afcF are involved in metabolic pathway(s) influencing lipid profiles and affect both cell surface and antifungal properties of B. cenocepacia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)603-614
Number of pages12
JournalMicrobiology (United Kingdom)
Issue numberPART3
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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