Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Bacteriology


Geisel School of Medicine


The biofilm-associated protein Bap is a staphylococcal surface protein involved in biofilm formation. We investigated the influence of the global regulatory locus sarA on bap expression and Bap-dependent biofilm formation in three unrelated Staphylococcus aureus strains. The results showed that Bap-dependent biofilm formation was diminished in the sarA mutants by an agr-independent mechanism. Complementation studies using a sarA clone confirmed that the defect in biofilm formation was due to the sarA mutation. As expected, the diminished capacity to form biofilms in the sarA mutants correlated with the decreased presence of Bap in the bacterial surface. Using transcriptional fusion and Northern analysis data, we demonstrated that the sarA gene product acts as an activator of bap expression. Finally, the bap promoter was characterized and the transcriptional start point was mapped by the rapid amplification of cDNA ends technique. As expected, we showed that purified SarA protein binds specifically to the bappromoter, as determined by gel shift and DNase I footprinting assays. Based on the previous studies of others as well as our work demonstrating the role for SarA in icaADBC and bapexpression (J. Valle, A. Toledo-Arana, C. Berasain, J. M. Ghigo, B. Amorena, J. R. Penades, and I. Lasa, Mol. Microbiol. 48:1075-1087), we propose that SarA is an essential regulator controlling biofilm formation in S. aureus.



Original Citation

Trotonda MP, Manna AC, Cheung AL, Lasa I, Penadés JR. SarA positively controls bap-dependent biofilm formation in Staphylococcus aureus. J Bacteriol. 2005 Aug;187(16):5790-8. doi: 10.1128/JB.187.16.5790-5798.2005. PMID: 16077127; PMCID: PMC1196089.