Biofilms formed by multidrug-resistant bacteria are a major cause of hospital-acquired infections. Cold atmospheric-pressure plasma (CAP) is attractive for sterilization, especially to disrupt biofilms formed by multidrug-resistant bacteria. However, the underlying molecular mechanism is not clear. In this study, CAP effectively reduced the living cells in the biofilms formed by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and 6 min treatment with CAP reduced the S. aureus cells in biofilms by 3.5 log10. The treatment with CAP caused the polymerization of SaFtsZ and SaClpP proteins in the S. aureus cells of the biofilms. In vitro analysis demonstrated that recombinant SaFtsZ lost its self-assembly capability, and recombinant SaClpP lost its peptidase activity after 2 min of treatment with CAP. Mass spectrometry showed oxidative modifications of a cluster of peaks differing by 16 Da, 31 Da, 32 Da, 47 Da, 48 Da, 62 Da, and 78 Da, induced by reactive species of CAP. It is speculated that the oxidative damage to proteins in S. aureus cells was induced by CAP, which contributed to the reduction of biofilms. This study elucidates the biological effect of CAP on the proteins in bacterial cells of biofilms and provides a basis for the application of CAP in the disinfection of biofilms.
Original Publication Citation
Guo, L., Yang, L., Qi, Y., Niyazi, G., Huang, L., Gou, L., . . . Kong, M. G. (2021). Cold atmospheric-pressure plasma caused protein damage in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus cells in biofilms. Microorganisms, 9(5), Article 1072, 1-13.
Guo, Li; Yang, Lu; Qi, Yu; Niyazi, Gulimire; Huang, Lingling; Gou, Lu; Wang, Zifeng; Zhang, Lei; Liu, Dingxin; Wang, Xiaohua; Chen, Hailan; and Kong, Michael G., "Cold Atmospheric-Pressure Plasma Caused Protein Damage in Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Cells in Biofilms" (2021). Bioelectrics Publications. 308.