Cyanide Produced by Human Isolates ofPseudomonas aeruginosaContributes to Lethality inDrosophila melanogaster

Kate E. Broderick, Adriano Chan, Maheswari Balasubramanian, Jake Feala, Sharon L. Reed, Markandeswar Panda, Vijay S. Sharma, Renate B. Pilz, Timothy D. Bigby, Gerry R. Boss
2008 Journal of Infectious Diseases  
Some Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains are cyanogenic, and cyanide may contribute to the bacterium's virulence. Using human isolates of P. aeruginosa, we have shown that Drosophila melanogaster suspended above cyanogenic strains become motionless and develop bradycardia and that flies injected with cyanogenic bacterial strains die more rapidly than those injected with noncyanogenic strains. Flies exposed to cyanogenic strains had high cyanide and low adenosine triphosphate (ATP) concentrations in
more » ... concentrations in body extracts, and treatment with a cyanide antidote equalized survival of flies injected with cyanogenic and noncyanogenic strains. P. aeruginosa PAO1 strain with a mutation in the hydrogen cyanide synthase gene cluster was much less toxic to flies than the parental cyanogenic strain or 2 knock-in strains. Transgenic flies overexpressing rhodanese, which detoxifies cyanide by converting it to thiocyanate, were resistant to cyanide and the increased virulence of cyanogenic strains. We conclude that D. melanogaster is a good model for studying cyanide produced by P. aeruginosa.
doi:10.1086/525282 pmid:18199034 fatcat:4u34d3fjuvfznlct67pks3vxau