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author:("ijuin, Lily")
1.  Comparative study of normal and sensitive skin aerobic bacterial populations 
MicrobiologyOpen  2013;2(6):953-961.
The purpose of this study was to investigate if the sensitive skin syndrome, a frequent skin disorder characterized by abnormal painful reactions to environmental factors in the absence of visible inflammatory response, could be linked to a modification in the skin bacterial population. A total of 1706 bacterial isolates was collected at the levels of the forehead, cheekbone, inner elbow, and lower area of the scapula on the skin of normal and sensitive skin syndrome-suffering volunteers of both sexes and of different ages. Among these isolates, 21 strains were randomly selected to validate in a first step the Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization (MALDI)-Biotyper process as an efficient identification tool at the group and genus levels, by comparison to API® strips and 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing identification techniques. In a second step, identification of the skin microbiota isolates by the MALDI-Biotyper tool allowed to pinpoint some differences in terms of bacterial diversity with regard to the collection area, and the volunteer's age and gender. Finally, comparison of the skin microbiota from normal and sensitive skin syndrome-suffering volunteers pointed out gender-related variations but no detectable correlation between a phylum, a genus or a dominant bacterial species and the sensitive skin phenotype. This study reveals that there is no dysbiosis of aerobic cultivable bacteria associated with the sensitive skin syndrome and further demonstrates that the MALDI-Biotyper is a powerful technique that can be efficiently employed to the study of cultivable human skin bacteria. To our knowledge, this is the first study focusing on bacteria in the sensitive skin syndrome. These results are of potential importance for pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries, which are looking for new strategies to treat this multiparametric disorder.
PMCID: PMC3892341  PMID: 24151137
Dysbiosis; host bacteria interactions; mass spectrometry; sensitive skin syndrome; skin bacteria
2.  Effects of a Skin Neuropeptide (Substance P) on Cutaneous Microflora 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e78773.
Skin is the largest human neuroendocrine organ and hosts the second most numerous microbial population but the interaction of skin neuropeptides with the microflora has never been investigated. We studied the effect of Substance P (SP), a peptide released by nerve endings in the skin on bacterial virulence.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Bacillus cereus, a member of the skin transient microflora, was used as a model. Exposure to SP strongly stimulated the cytotoxicity of B. cereus (+553±3% with SP 10−6 M) and this effect was rapid (<5 min). Infection of keratinocytes with SP treated B. cereus led to a rise in caspase1 and morphological alterations of the actin cytoskeleton. Secretome analysis revealed that SP stimulated the release of collagenase and superoxide dismutase. Moreover, we also noted a shift in the surface polarity of the bacteria linked to a peel-off of the S-layer and the release of S-layer proteins. Meanwhile, the biofilm formation activity of B. cereus was increased. The Thermo unstable ribosomal Elongation factor (Ef-Tu) was identified as the SP binding site in B. cereus. Other Gram positive skin bacteria, namely Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis also reacted to SP by an increase of virulence. Thermal water from Uriage-les-Bains and an artificial polysaccharide (Teflose®) were capable to antagonize the effect of SP on bacterial virulence.
SP is released in sweat during stress and is known to be involved in the pathogenesis of numerous skin diseases through neurogenic inflammation. Our study suggests that a direct effect of SP on the skin microbiote should be another mechanism.
PMCID: PMC3826737  PMID: 24250813
3.  In Planta Biocontrol of Pectobacterium atrosepticum by Rhodococcus erythropolis Involves Silencing of Pathogen Communication by the Rhodococcal Gamma-Lactone Catabolic Pathway 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e66642.
The virulence of numerous Gram-negative bacteria is under the control of a quorum sensing process based on synthesis and perception of N-acyl homoserine lactones. Rhodococcus erythropolis, a Gram-positive bacterium, has recently been proposed as a biocontrol agent for plant protection against soft-rot bacteria, including Pectobacterium. Here, we show that the γ-lactone catabolic pathway of R. erythropolis disrupts Pectobacterium communication and prevents plant soft-rot. We report the first characterization and demonstration of N-acyl homoserine lactone quenching in planta. In particular, we describe the transcription of the R. erythropolis lactonase gene, encoding the key enzyme of this pathway, and the subsequent lactone breakdown. The role of this catabolic pathway in biocontrol activity was confirmed by deletion of the lactonase gene from R. erythropolis and also its heterologous expression in Escherichia coli. The γ-lactone catabolic pathway is induced by pathogen communication rather than by pathogen invasion. This is thus a novel and unusual biocontrol pathway, differing from those previously described as protecting plants from phytopathogens. These findings also suggest the existence of an additional pathway contributing to plant protection.
PMCID: PMC3689677  PMID: 23805254
4.  Effect of GABA, a Bacterial Metabolite, on Pseudomonas fluorescens Surface Properties and Cytotoxicity 
Different bacterial species and, particularly Pseudomonas fluorescens, can produce gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and express GABA-binding proteins. In this study, we investigated the effect of GABA on the virulence and biofilm formation activity of different strains of P. fluorescens. Exposure of a psychotropic strain of P. fluorescens (MF37) to GABA (10−5 M) increased its necrotic-like activity on eukaryotic (glial) cells, but reduced its apoptotic effect. Conversely, muscimol and bicuculline, the selective agonist and antagonist of eukaryote GABAA receptors, respectively, were ineffective. P. fluorescens MF37 did not produce biosurfactants, and its caseinase, esterase, amylase, hemolytic activity or pyoverdine productions were unchanged. In contrast, the effect of GABA was associated to rearrangements of the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) structure, particularly in the lipid A region. The surface hydrophobicity of MF37 was marginally modified, and GABA reduced its biofilm formation activity on PVC, but not on glass, although the initial adhesion was increased. Five other P. fluorescens strains were studied, and only one, MFP05, a strain isolated from human skin, showed structural differences of biofilm maturation after exposure to GABA. These results reveal that GABA can regulate the LPS structure and cytotoxicity of P. fluorescens, but that this property is specific to some strains.
PMCID: PMC3709781  PMID: 23743829
host-microbial interactions; cytotoxicity; virulence; bacterial adhesion; lipopolysaccharide; biofilms; pyoverdine
5.  Virulence of the Pseudomonas fluorescens clinical strain MFN1032 towards Dictyostelium discoideum and macrophages in relation with type III secretion system 
BMC Microbiology  2012;12:223.
Pseudomonas fluorescens biovar I MFN1032 is a clinical isolate able to grow at 37°C. This strain displays secretion-mediated hemolytic activity involving phospholipase C and cyclolipopeptides, and a cell-associated hemolytic activity distinct from the secreted hemolytic activity. Cell-associated hemolysis is independent of biosurfactant production and remains in a gacA mutant. Disruption of the hrpU-like operon (the basal part of type III secretion system from rhizospheric strains) suppresses this activity. We hypothesized that this phenotype could reflect evolution of an ancestral mechanism involved in the survival of this species in its natural niche. In this study, we evaluated the hrpU-like operon’s contribution to other virulence mechanisms using a panel of Pseudomonas strains from various sources.
We found that MFN1032 inhibited the growth of the amoebae Dictyostelium discoideum and that this inhibition involved the hrpU-like operon and was absent in a gacA mutant. MFN1032 was capable of causing macrophage lysis, if the hrpU-like operon was intact, and this cytotoxicity remained in a gacA mutant. Cell-associated hemolytic activity and macrophage necrosis were found in other P. fluorescens clinical isolates, but not in biocontrol P. fluorescens strains harbouring hrpU-like operon. The growth of Dictyostelium discoideum was inhibited to a different extent by P. fluorescens strains without correlation between this inhibition and hrpU-like operon sequences.
In P. fluorescens MFN1032, the basal part of type III secretion system plays a role in D. discoideum growth inhibition and macrophage necrosis. The inhibition of D. discoideum growth is dependent on the GacS/GacA system, while cell-associated hemolytic activity and macrophage lysis are not. Virulence against eukaryotic cells based on the hrpU-like operon may be more than just a stochastic evolution of a conserved system dedicated to survival in competition with natural predators such as amoebae. It may also mean that there are some important modifications of other type III secretion system components, which remain unknown. Cell-associated hemolysis might be a good indicator of the virulence of Pseudomonas fluorescens strain.
PMCID: PMC3489880  PMID: 23020706
Pseudomonas fluorescens clinical strains; Type III secretion system; Dictyostelium discoideum; Macrophage necrosis; Cell-associated hemolytic activity

Results 1-5 (5)