The nitric oxide synthase gene negatively regulates biofilm formation in Staphylococcus epidermidis

Jiaxue Wang, Lulin Rao, Zhuoan Huang, Lili Ma, Tian Yang, Zhongqi Yu, Aihua Sun, Yumei Ge*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Staphylococcus epidermidis (S. epidermidis) is a clinically important conditioned pathogen that can cause a troublesome chronic implant-related infection once a biofilm is formed. The nitric oxide synthase (NOS) gene, which is responsible for endogenous nitric oxide synthesis, has already been found in the genome of S. epidermidis; however, the specific mechanisms associated with the effects of NOS on S. epidermidis pathogenicity are still unknown. The purpose of the current study was to investigate whether the NOS gene has an impact on biofilm formation in S. epidermidis. Bioinformatics analysis of the NOS gene was performed, and homologous recombination was subsequently employed to delete this gene. The effects of the NOS gene on biofilm formation of S. epidermidis and its underlying mechanisms were analyzed by bacterial growth assays, biofilm semiquantitative determination, Triton X-100-induced autolysis assays, and bacterial biofilm dispersal assays. Additionally, the transcription levels of fbe, aap, icaA, icaR and sigB, which are related to biofilm formation, were further investigated by qRT-PCR following NOS deletion. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the NOS gene was conserved between bacterial species originating from different genera. The NOS deletion strain of S. epidermidis 1457 and its counterpart were successfully constructed. Disruption of the NOS gene resulted in significantly enhanced biofilm formation, slightly retarded bacterial growth, a markedly decreased autolysis rate, and drastically weakened bacterial biofilm dispersal. Our data showed that the fbe, aap and icaA genes were significantly upregulated, while the icaR and sigB genes were significantly downregulated, compared with the wild strain. Therefore, these data strongly suggested that the NOS gene can negatively regulate biofilm formation in S. epidermidis by affecting biofilm aggregation and dispersal.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1015859
JournalFrontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • biofilm
  • chronic infection
  • nitric oxide
  • nitric oxide synthase gene
  • S. epidermidis


Dive into the research topics of 'The nitric oxide synthase gene negatively regulates biofilm formation in Staphylococcus epidermidis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this