Engineering global regulator Hha of Escherichia coli to control biofilm dispersal

Seok Hoon Hong, Jintae Lee, Thomas K. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


The global transcriptional regulator Hha of Escherichia coli controls biofilm formation and virulence. Previously, we showed that Hha decreases initial biofilm formation; here, we engineered Hha for two goals: to increase biofilm dispersal and to reduce biofilm formation. Using random mutagenesis, Hha variant Hha13D6 (D22V, L40R, V42I and D48A) was obtained that causes nearly complete biofilm dispersal (96%) by increasing apoptosis without affecting initial biofilm formation. Hha13D6 caused cell death probably by the activation of proteases since Hha-mediated dispersal was dependent on protease HslV. Hha variant Hha24E9 (K62X) was also obtained that decreased biofilm formation by inducing gadW, glpT and phnF but that did not alter biofilm dispersal. Hence, Hha may be engineered to influence both biofilm dispersal and formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)717-728
Number of pages12
JournalMicrobial Biotechnology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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