Biotechnology Letters, Vol.43, No.1, 235-246, 2021
Heparin stimulates biofilm formation ofEscherichia colistrain Nissle 1917
Objectives Escherichia colistrain Nissle 1917 (EcN), a gut probiotic competing with pathogenic bacteria, has been used to attenuate various intestinal dysfunctions. Heparin is a sulfated glycosaminoglycan enriched in the human and animal intestinal mucosa, which has a close connection with bacterial biofilm formation. However, the characteristics of heparin affecting bacterial biofilm formation remain obscure. In this study, we investigated the influence of heparin and its derivatives on EcN biofilm formation. Results Here, we found that heparin stimulated EcN biofilm formation in a dose-dependent manner. With the addition of native heparin, the EcN biofilm formation increased 6.9- to 10.8-fold than that without heparin, and was 1.4-, 3.1-, 3.0-, and 3.8-fold higher than that ofN-desulfated heparin (N-DS), 2-O-desulfated heparin (2-O-DS), 6-O-desulfated heparin (6-O-DS), andN-/2-O-/6-O-desulfated heparin (N-/2-O-/6-O-DS), respectively. Depolymerization of heparin produced chain-shortened heparin fragments with decreased molecular weight. The depolymerized heparins did not stimulate EcN biofilm formation. The OD570 value of EcN biofilm with the addition of chain-shortened heparin fragments was 8.7-fold lower than that of the native heparin. Furthermore, the biofilm formation ofSalmonella entericaserovar Typhimurium was also investigated with the addition of heparin derivatives, and the results were consistent with that of EcN biofilm formation. Conclusions We conclude that heparin stimulated EcN biofilm formation. Both the sulfation and chain-length of heparin contributed to the enhancement of EcN biofilm formation. This study increases the understanding of how heparin affects biofilm formation, indicating the potential role of heparin in promoting intestinal colonization of probiotics that antagonize pathogen infections.