Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) is a major pathogen causing morbidity and ultimately mortality in patients afflicted with cystic fibrosis (CF) lung disease. One important virulence factor, pyocyanin (PCN), is a blue, redox-active compound that is secreted in such copious amounts by PA in the CF lungs that it determines the colour of expectorated sputum. In this study, we discovered that physiological concentrations of PCN inactivate the airway epithelial vacuolar ATPase, resulting in reduced expression and trafficking of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator in cultured lung and primary nasal epithelial cells. Our study supports the notion that PCN contributes significantly to the pathogenesis of CF and other bronchiectasis patients infected by PA.
ASJC Scopus subject areas